Easy? Yes. Overwhelming, confusing and intimidating with a plethora of information available? Yes. End result? Homeowners often default to inertia.
Instead of bombarding you with more facts and figures, I will give you just 3 things to do that can have significant impacts on the energy efficiency of your home. Best of all, these steps are easy and rewarding (both financially and environmentally).
1. Insulate, insulate, insulate!
If your home is drafty and poorly insulated you are spending considerable energy and money in a losing battle against the outdoors.
Temperate or cold climate homes need good insulation to keep all the heat produced by their boilers or heat pumps inside. In the UK, it is estimated that homes without insulated lofts lose about 25% of their heat through the roof! Your energy and money is flying out of the house like Peter Pan- only less whimsical and more expensive.
2. Get your climate under control
We like the temperature to be just so, and are willing to spend considerable energy and money on making that happen either through heating or air conditioning our homes.
Heating can eat up in the range of 65% of energy used in a home in a temperate climate. As mentioned above, if you have a poorly insulated home a lot of this heat is keeping your front yard warm instead of your living room. But there are significant gains to be made by attacking the inefficiency of your heating system once your insulation is sorted out.
If your home is heated by a heat pump, give Smartcool a call because we can save you about 20% with our ECO3 retrofit. If your home is not heated by a heat pump, you should seriously consider replacing your inefficient furnace with one, as they are by far the most energy efficient heating appliance on the market.
On the flip side, air conditioning can take up about 25% of energy in a home. Again, Smartcool can save you a lot of energy and money with its ECO3 for home air conditioning systems (and for heat pumps that provide cooling!). Alternatively, you can replace an old inefficient air conditioner with a new, more energy efficient one (check the SEER rating when making your choice), or you can using ceiling fans and other ventilating tactics to lower your dependence on air conditioning.
3. Don’t be dim!
How many blondes does it take to screw in an energy efficient CFL bulb? Just one. Because it really is that easy! Changing your light bulbs is the fastest, simplest thing you can do to save energy in your home. Unless you count turning off the lights completely, which may put a damper on your hobby of drafting blonde jokes on Friday nights at home.
Lighting takes about 20% of the energy used in a home, and it is incredibly easy to cut this by about 60% just by changing the bulbs.
Have you already taken these 3 easy steps? Maybe it is time to take things to the next level!
- Replace your single pane windows with double glazing to keep more heat in your home.
- Upgrade any old energy hogging appliances. Many utilities offer incentives for new refrigerators and other major appliances.
- Unplug appliances when they are not being used- another very easy measure that anyone can do!
- Have a swimming pool? Smartcool can save you energy on pool heating.