From reducing your carbon footprint to eliminating toxins, running an environmentally sound household is within easy reach. Just as recycling and other day-to-day actions impact us all, home improvements offer advantages to both your family and the earth. If your goal is to go green, the following tips will help you cut heating and cooling costs while lessening negative environmental effects.
Inspect Your Home for Leaks
Don’t let heated or cooled air escape. Inspect your home for areas where leaks can occur. The most effective form of inspection is a blower door test, usually performed as part of an energy audit. For this test, a technician attaches a heavy-duty fan to an exterior door. The fan pulls air from your home to lower indoor air pressure. Higher outdoor air pressure forces air into holes, crevices, or other unwanted openings. If you’d rather do the inspecting yourself, visually check outside for gaps at corners, around the mail slot, at the line where your foundation touches the brick or siding, or in any place where two types of materials meet.
Replace weather stripping to prevent leaks at exterior doorways. Caulk is perfect for preventing air loss around windows, but it also serves a purpose in other areas of your home. Caulking is also ideal for stopping air leaks around plumbing and wiring. Draft snakes reduce outside air entry, making your heating and cooling efforts more effective. For a longer-term solution, consider installing draft-stopping double-paned windows. New siding can also boost HVAC efficiency, especially when combined with new insulation. Durable siding backed by high-quality insulation protects your home from extreme temperatures and other harsh weather conditions. Research the best type of siding for your climate for keeping your home well insulated. In addition to resisting weather damage and preventing air loss, these two products work together to ensure your family’s comfort.
Prevent Leaks via Unused Appliances
Just as unplugging unused devices reduces power usage, covering or closing certain appliances while not in use is an easy way to reduce air loss. Exhaust fans, fireplace flue dampers and range hoods are just some examples of places where air can escape. Whether you purchase a cover for your exhaust fan or install an inflatable chimney balloon, take control of energy usage and costs by reducing opportunities for air to escape. In the hot summer months, you might want to reduce use of your oven as well. If you must use it, don’t leave it on for any amount of time after. Don’t let it heat up for too long either. This will prevent unnecessary heat from circulating around your home.
Your home is your castle, but it doesn’t have to be drafty or low-functioning. Cut the effects of air loss by inspecting your home and making necessary adjustments. Even the most simple changes can make a huge difference. You’ll experience lower power bills and increased comfort while lessening your negative impact on the environment.