The average American family spends approximately $2,000- $5,000 each year on their home utility bills. But by making a few simple upgrades to your home, you can reduce the amount of energy your home consumes and save tons on your cost of utilities. These energy- efficient upgrades can keep you more comfortable and create better long- term financial compensation, as well as an increased resale value on your home if you decide to move anytime down the road.

AUDITS ON YOUR HOME’S ENERGY

A good tip for reducing the amount of energy your home demands is that if your windows, walls and attic are not sealed  properly, even the most efficient furnace or heating system could be wasting fuel and be costing you more on your home utility bills than necessary. As homeowners you need to figure out what parts of your house are using the most energy. Home energy audits can point out these problematic areas and suggest some efficient ways you can cut your utility costs.

These energy audits identify the areas within your home that are being infiltrated by the unwanted outside air. They also determine what parts of the home may be improperly insulated or have insulation below The Federal Energy Department’s recommended values.

It’s very important to know where your home is losing energy so counter- measures can be made to prevent the energy loss in the first place. You could literally be allowing money to fly right thru your roof! These spots in your home are not just costing you, as a homeowner, money, but they also may be affecting the level of comfort within your home.

WINDOWS AND DOORS

Along with other possible energy- efficient upgrades, you may have your windows or doors replaced as well. Energy- saving windows can prevent drafts and increase the level of comfort in any home. Let’s not forget this also improves the curb appearance of your home and eliminates some unnecessary maintenance of your home.

Energy- efficient windows are created from materials such as wood, vinyl or fiberglass, which do not conduct as much cold or heat through their frames. These type of windows are made with high grade insulated glass, either double pane or triple pane, with a low- E coating and Argon gas between the glass.

The Department of Energy has an ENERGY STAR program which rates the efficiency of windows and doors in a home. ENERGY STAR qualifications can help determine the specific window or door that is best suited for the particular climate zone in which you live. These guidelines are based on how well or not so well each product conducts cold and heat.  A product being installed in California is going to have completely different requirements than one being installed in New York.

Windows and doors efficiencies are measured by their U- value; the lower the number or U- value, the more efficient those windows or doors are. A U- value is the measurement of the rate of heat loss through a material. So always go for the lowest U- value possible. Really energy- efficient windows should have a U- value of .30 or even less.

INSULATION

The most effective way to increase the energy efficiency of your home is by sealing and insulating the outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors and floors, according to the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Properly insulating your home will decrease your utility costs and also make your house cozier to live in.

It is so important to have the right insulation in your home. As homeowners you could have the most efficient HVAC equipment available, but with poor insulation, it won’t make a difference in your energy costs at the end of the month. Fortunately for you, there is an array of insulation choices available this day in age, from spray foam and cellulose, to fiberglass and reflective insulation.

ROOFING

Another great way to increase your home’s energy efficiency is through increasing the attic’s efficiency. In many attics today, the insulation is nominal, though it is the only thing upstairs that is protecting homeowners from the outside temperatures.

Attics are just like outside walls and should be treated in the same manner. Many people overlook this and end up losing countless dollars come bill- time. All attics need the appropriate airflow and ventilation for them to work the way they were created to. Appropriate ventilation directly affects your home’s energy efficiency. When you vent the attic space correctly, the attic breathes and it becomes easier to cool the home upstairs because there is not a layer of hot air trapped overtop of you.

LIGHTING

Our overall point is that saving energy is in most cases more cost effective than creating energy. One way to save energy when it comes to lighting of your home is LED. LED lighting has come quite some way of the years. This day in age it is almost impossible to decipher an LED from a regular incandescent bulb.

Only five percent of the energy used by a regular incandescent bulb actually ends up as light while the other ninety- five percent ends up simply turning into heat. With an LED bulb, only approximately ten percent of the energy required for it ends up as heat and the other ninety percent ends up as light.