Looking for a way to take part in Cut Your Energy Costs Day on January 10? If so, you’re not alone, and there are lots of things you can do.
These days, appliances, electronics and lighting are responsible for most of the energy consumption in U.S. homes. But at just under 48 percent, the cost of heating and cooling comes in a close second and deserves attention, too.
A good place to start is with a professional giving your heating and cooling units a tune up. Many are designed to last up to 20 years or so, but they become energy hogs as parts begin to wear. If your units are more than 10 years old, you might consider upgrading to a more efficient ENERGY-STAR-rated model. These units can cut 20 to 40 percent off your energy costs.
Purchasing a programmable thermostat can save you big, too. The Nest Learning Thermostat™, for example, saves energy by learning your schedule and preferences and making small adjustments that can save up to 15 percent on heating and cooling bills.
And you’ll want to make sure your home is well sealed and insulated. Check weather stripping around doors, and caulk gaps and cracks around windows. Sometimes, if the windows are old, it pays to go ahead and have them replaced, perhaps with double pane versions. Also consider adding more insulation in your attic space or in exterior walls to cut down on energy loss. And check to make sure that your heating and cooling ducts are properly sealed and insulated, too. Energy loss through ductwork can be increasing your costs by up to 20 percent.