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How to Have an Energy Efficient Home

Heating and HVAC
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In today’s world of ever-increasing fuel prices, the dream of an energy efficient home is appealing to every homeowner. But where to start? To achieve the most energy efficient home possible means beginning from the ground up. But if you’re not ready to take on the enormous project of building a new, energy efficient home, there’s plenty you can do in your current domicile to reign in energy costs.

A good place to start is to call your local power company, and request a technician to come to your home and perform a home-energy audit. This can usually be done for little or no cost; the auditor can point out the areas in your home that need an energy-efficiency makeover.

Maintaining what you have can save money and energy. But when your appliances are approaching the end of their useful lives replacing them can open the door to energy savings. If your refrigerator, washer and dryer, water heater, stove, oven, toilet, or heating and air conditioning system are in imminent danger of failing, upgrade them to a more energy efficient model. The good news is that most all modern appliances are generally much more energy efficient than those manufactured even a few years ago. This means it is not even necessary to spend big bucks on the most energy efficient model on the market to reap the money-saving effects.

Make friends with technology. In recent years the home-improvement market has exploded with products that can help you achieve your dream of a more energy efficient home. Take light bulbs, for instance. Of course, the best way to save electricity with any type of light bulb is to use it less. But the type of bulb you choose can also save energy and money. The incandescent bulb is the most familiar to us because it has been around for so long, but it is also the largest energy-waster of the bulb world. You might opt to replace them with halogen bulbs because they last twice as long, and emit a bright white light which is extremely kind to eyes. The energy efficient bulb champ is the compact fluorescent light bulb. CFL’s don’t emit as much heat as conventional bulbs, which make them much more energy efficient. Also, they last up to four times as long as incandescent bulbs. There are a lot of light bulbs in the typical home, so this one simple change can contribute a great deal toward creating a more energy efficient home.

Considering that heating and cooling needs can account for up to 74% of the yearly energy use in a typical home, a well-insulated home can help a homeowner reach energy-efficiency nirvana. Of course, we all know that walls and ceilings need to be insulated. But to have the most energy efficient home, think big – insulate your water heater, pipes, ductwork, your garage door (and garage walls, if they aren’t insulated already), and your basement. When it comes to insulation, more is usually better.

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