I wanted to offer some easy low cost energy tips for your family . Most of these are easy & practical .
1. Seal the outside envelope of your home . Doors , windows, fireplaces , vents , fans, & mechanical penetrations can be easy avenues for outside air to make its way in . The U. S. Department of Energy stresses the importance controlling air movement . Use caulking and expandable foam help to reduce air leakage .
2. Limit incandescent lighting . Can lights are the most inefficient type of light fixture you can buy . The standard bulb uses a heated tungsten filament to produce light . This causes 75 % of the light to be lost as heat. A compact fluorescent lamp uses 75 % less energy while lasting 10 times longer . Some can lights can’t have any insulation in contact with the light , thus creating an avenue for warm air at the ceiling to escape into the attic . Furthermore, there’s different types of trim rings that fit around the light housing & finished ceiling . Be sure to pick a ring that covers more of the housing so less air can escape .
3 . Choose high efficient HVAC equipment when it’s time to replace existing . For example, there’s a $ 2200.00 price difference for a 90 % high efficiency furnace & heat pump compared to 80 % unit . Most utility companies offer a rebate for the better equipment . According to City Utilities of Springfield, 90 % efficient equipment saves you $ 481.00 per year when compared to equipment that’s 15 years old . The standard life expectancy of a heating & cooling equipment is 25- 30 years. My HVAC contractor says it will cost you $ .10 extra for every dollar you spend if you choose a 80 % over a 90 % system .
4. Check your attic insulation . You need at least 14″ tall of insulation in your attic . 14″ equals an R-30 rating . Adding insulation is easy , most companies will rent you a blower to install the insulation yourself .
5. Install a programmable thermostat . This feature will reduce the energy used to heat & cool your home while you aren’t at home . Make sure to shut off the power supply before changing if you do this yourself .
6. Cover your existing foundation vents with foam insulation during the winter . Doing this keeps cold air out of the crawl space . Extruded polystyrene insulation offers an R-5 per each inch of thickness .
I hope this helps you stay comfy & keeps $ in your pockets !