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Home Improvement

Give your home an energy makeover

10/3/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

An energy audit will let you know which areas of your home can be made more efficient.
Photo courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection
Renovations that take inventory of energy use and strive toward efficiency have grown increasingly popular over the years. Homeowners fed up with high utility bills want to conserve costs, and there are a number of ways to revamp a home to be more energy efficient.

The first step in a home energy makeover is to find out where your home is losing money. Certain municipal and environmental agencies offer home assessments, during which they will do a complete walk-through of your home and highlight areas that can be improved. Private companies also perform these energy audits. They might be able to point out appliances, windows or landscaping issues that could be compromising the efficiency of a home. These people might have a more intimate knowledge of insulation ratings and window efficiency ratings than the average homeowner.

A professional audit also might make you eligible for tax incentives and rebates. That can mean even more savings and might even increase the value of your home.

Until a thorough energy assessment can be made, there are some easy and relatively inexpensive fixes any homeowner can undertake to help improve energy efficiency.

  • Clean air filters. Trapped dust and debris in a filter makes furnaces and air conditioners work harder. Once filters are free from dust, air can blow more smoothly through the system.
  • Plug leaks. Once you find any air leaks in the home, you can use weather stripping and caulking to seal up breaches and save energy and money.
  • Invest in insulation. Install high-efficiency insulation in attics and between walls to prevent energy loss and keep more warm or cool air in the home. A well-insulated house requires less heating and cooling to keep the temperature indoors stable, and that translates to less money spent on utilities.
  • Swap out light bulbs. Switching bulbs from incandescent to more efficient LED or CFL bulbs can save money in the long run.

 

This information was provided courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection.

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