Whether you’re trying to keep summer’s heat or winter’s chill outside, the energy-efficiency of your home is dependent on several different factors, not all of which you can easily control. You can improve your home’s energy-efficiency by adding additional insulation or repairing the ductwork in your home, for example, but that takes tools and skills many homeowners don’t have. (Quick quiz: what’s the difference between a crescent wrench and a pair of pliers? Yeah, I don’t know either.) On the other hand, there are also many easy steps you can take to make your home more energy-efficient and cut down on the cost of running your home without any real carpentry skills. Try these easy tips to see big results in your energy bills!
Find and Block Leaks in Your Home
Leaks in your home can account for up to 20 percent of energy losses in your home, according to the EPA. Eliminating these leaks can drastically improve the energy-efficiency of your home without expensive repairs or added insulation. Most leaks occur around doors and windows, so look for leaks there first. You can seal these leaks with caulk, or in the case of larger leaks, weather stripping. Look for other leaks around pipes and electrical connections into your home. Seal these with spray foam insulation or another form of insulation.
Cover Your Windows Properly
Your windows can cause a lot of energy to leave your home, even if all leaks are sealed. In the summer, keep blinds closed during the day and draw the curtains if you have them. Blackout curtains can block heat from entering your home during the summer, and can also provide additional insulation in the winter. Open your curtains and blinds during the winter to allow as much heat from the sun to enter as possible.
Use Appliances Wisely
Save hot appliance use, such as the oven and dryer for night use. Or, try skipping these altogether by cooking in an outdoor solar oven or outdoor grill, or by line-drying clothes. Unplug other appliances when not in use, including computers, kitchen appliances, and your television, since they sap energy even when turned off. Fans can help cut down on the amount of air conditioning you need to stay cool.