If you’ve spent the last few weeks working from home as a result of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place recommendation, then your utility bills have likely increased. Consider doing a whole-house energy audit to identify air leaks and equipment inefficiencies and reduce energy usage.
Locate and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks increase a home’s energy usage from 10% to 20% per year. Indoor air leaks are common along the baseboard or edge of the flooring and at junctures of the ceiling and walls. Outdoor air leaks can occur in areas where two different building materials meet. You could also have air leaks by windows, doors, switches, electrical outlets, and lighting and plumbing fixtures. Simply apply caulk and weatherstripping to plug and seal air leaks throughout your home.
If you have an older home, your home’s insulation levels may be below the recommended minimum. Check your attic to see if openings for pipes, ductwork and chimneys are properly sealed. The attic should also have a vapor barrier, such as Kraft paper attached to fiberglass batts, or a plastic sheet. If you don’t see a vapor barrier, consider painting the interior ceiling with vapor barrier paint.
Inspect Your HVAC Unit
Check your air filters and replace them once every month or two. Consider using a higher-quality air filter to remove more contaminants and particles from the air and enjoy greater health benefits.
If your unit is more than 15 years old, then it’s time to replace it with a newer, energy-efficient unit. Reach out to 4 Eco Services for eco-friendly HVAC unit recommendations.
Replace Inefficient Bulbs with LEDs
This is probably the simplest trick to lowering your electricity bill. According to a USA TODAY article, “Switching to LED light bulbs can help the typical home save about $1,000 over a 10-year period. That’s roughly $8.33 a month.”
Identify and Unplug Energy Vampires
Energy vampires don’t have teeth and they don’t suck blood, but they’re pretty active during the day and night in every home. Energy vampires include game consoles, DVRs, DVD or Blu-Ray players, laptop charger cables, printers, speakers, coffee makers, microwaves and ranges. The simple solution is to just unplug what you’re not using.
Reach out to 4 Eco Services for additional eco-friendly recommendations on how to reduce your home’s energy usage.