Turn Your Home into an Energy-Efficient Haven

Energy bills can be pretty preposterous, especially if you live in a high cost of living area, or in areas with extremes in temperatures. Fortunately, there are ways to keep down the costs by making your house more energy efficient, as this post by a reader shows us.

Every month, you pay a price for your home comfort. While it's important to keep your family warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and healthy year round, you shouldn't have to pay a premium for it. If your energy bills are on the rise, it's time to take a closer look at what you're paying for. Try these tricks to create an efficient haven with low energy bills and optimal year-round comfort.

Seal Your Ductwork

Image via Flickr by Grant Thomas Goad
You don't often look at your ductwork, so you may not know what state it's in. If you haven't properly maintained your ducts, they probably have leaky areas where air escapes into your attic before ever reaching your home. Have your ductwork professionally sealed and insulated to recapture this energy loss and keep your heating and cooling inside where you want it.

Replace the Windows

If you have older windows in your home, they're probably not as efficient as they could be. You can quickly improve efficiency around any window by caulking and weather-stripping, but if the window itself is leaky or has a broken seal, you won't get the protection from the elements that you really want.

Today's energy-efficient window innovations include options like reflective coatings that reduce solar radiation and filter out as much as 70 percent of the heat passing through the glass. Argon gas filling between the panes of glass will reduce heat transfer, further enhancing your windows' efficiency.

Address Insulation

Your home insulation is hidden in most areas, but it performs a critical task whether or not you can see it. Ideally, your home will have efficient insulation in both the walls and the ceilings. If you're constructing a new home, you can make sure that contractor install this before hanging the drywall and finishing the ceilings. Though it's a bit more difficult to insulate walls later, you can use various types of blow-in insulation to do the job. You can usually add insulation in the attic at any time.

The primary purpose of insulation is sealing conditioned air inside the home and preventing energy loss. However, products like fiberglass insulation offer additional benefits, such as soundproofing. Maintaining proper insulation throughout the home will make it both a peaceful and energy-efficient haven.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

If you don't have a smart thermostat yet, you're missing out on myriad benefits for your home comfort and efficiency. Even the simplest smart thermostat will let you input settings that adjust the temperature based on the day and the time. With a smart thermostat, you can automatically turn your heating or cooling down at night when you're inactive or during the day when you're out of the house.
Many modern models now offer adaptive technology, which learns from your habits. This technology can make minor adjustments to maximize efficiency based on your personal preferences and the temperatures inside and outside the home.

Smart upgrades now will pay off for years to come. Seal up your home, upgrade your technology, and settle in to enjoy your energy-efficient haven.

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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