If you own an older home, there is a good chance you are spending too much on utilities. This is especially true if your home is more than 30 years old and was built before energy efficient codes were in effect. Drafty windows, air leaks, and inefficient HVAC systems can all increase your electric bill. Luckily, there are many small ways that you can improve your energy usage in your home.
Seal Air Leaks
Whether it is hot or cold outside, the air that seeps through the cracks and gaps around your windows, door, and plumbing can account for up to 25 percent of your electric bill! Fill in these cracks using caulking or weatherstripping.
Check Your HVAC
Sealing your ductwork can reduce air leakage by 15 percent and make a big difference on your heating bill! In fact, the cost of an HVAC tune-up and sealed ductwork will only take one heating season to pay for itself.
Natural gas-powered systems should be serviced every 2-3 years. Oil-fired furnaces should have a tune-up every year
If your home is still too cold and inefficient you may need to replace your furnace. The average life span for a gas or oil-fired unit is between 15 and 20 years.
Last but not least, program your thermostat for even more energy savings.
Adding insulation is extremely important if your home is more than 25 years old. Adding insulation to your attic, crawl spaces, ceilings, and basement can lead to major savings on your utilities.
Check Your Fireplace
A damaged fireplace damper can account to a shocking amount of air leakage. Hire a chimney sweep to give your chimney a good cleaning and to lubricate and check the damper. When your fireplace isn’t being used you can seal the flue completely using a balloonlike plug called a Draftstopper.
Switch To Energy Star Certified
A whopping 20 percent of your electric bill is spent powering up your appliances. Switching to an energy efficient refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washing system, and windows can really help you save on your electric bill.