Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. And each year, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. And as for the road, transportation accounts for 67% of all U.S. oil consumption. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to save energy and money at home and in your car. To cut your energy use up to 25%, see the recommendations below.
Developing a ‘Systems’ mindset
The key to achieving these savings in your home is through a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole-house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace—it’s a heat-delivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts. Similarly, your air conditioner isn’t just an appliance. Like your furnace, it’s a delivery system that utilizes the same ductwork that your furnace uses. That ductwork is as important as the furnace or air conditioning unit when it comes to minimizing wasted energy.
Even a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace will waste a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls, attic, windows, and doors are not properly sealed and insulated. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely.
Energy-efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Reduced utility bills more than make up for the higher price of energy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. In addition, your home could bring in a higher price when you sell.
Determining where your energy is really going
The first step to taking a whole-house energy efficiency approach is to find out which parts of your house use the most energy. A home energy audit will pinpoint those areas and suggest the most effective measures for cutting your energy costs. Most home owners don’t have the equipment or expertise to do an effective energy audit themselves. For a comprehensive examination, contact Eagle Shield for a no-cost audit.
Formulating Your Plan
After a comprehensive energy audit has identified where your home is losing energy, assign priorities by asking yourself a few important questions:
- How much money do you spend on energy?
- Where are your greatest energy losses?
- How long will it take for an investment in energy efficiency to pay for itself in energy cost savings?
- Do the energy-saving measures provide additional benefits that are important to you (for example, increased comfort from installing double-paned, efficient windows)?
- How long do you plan to own your current home?
- What is your budget and how much time do you have to spend on maintenance and repair?
Once you assign priorities to your energy needs, you can form a whole house efficiency plan. Your plan will provide you with a strategy for making smart purchases and home improvements that maximize energy efficiency and save the most money.
Get the advice of a professional
Eagle Shield will analyze how well your home’s energy systems work together and compare the analysis to your utility bills. He or she will use a variety of equipment such as infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of energy leakage. After gathering information about your home, we will give you a list of recommendations for cost-effective energy improvements and enhanced comfort.