There are many ways you can improve the comfort of your home this winter while saving energy and money at the same time. Doing the right thing for the environment is always important, and by using energy efficiently in your home, you can help to prevent air pollution.
Below you’ll find four of many ways to winterize your home while staying warm, which we found on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Web site.
Know your facts
According to the EPA, the average family spends $1,400 each year on bills, and nearly early half of that is spent on heating and cooling. Energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, when sized and installed properly, can help homeowners to save up to 20 percent on their annual energy bills.
Keep it clean
The EPA has found that dirty air filters can increase energy costs and lead to early failure of equipment. Cleaning or changing the air filters in your heading and cooling system is something you should be doing on a monthly basis. Some filters only need to be changed every few months, so make sure you do some research before changing filters. Another great idea is to have your equipment checked each season to make sure it is operating efficiently and safely. This is a good way to detect problems early on.
Bundle up your home
Check your home for hidden gaps and cracks. Believe it or not, the EPA found that these gaps and cracks can add up to as much airflow as an open window – something you wouldn’t want in the middle of a cold winter. The more heat escapes, the more cold air enters, and this causes your heating system to work harder and use more energy. Sealing your home can prevent heat loss and improve your home’s envelope (the outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors) and could potentially save you 10 percent of your energy costs.
A duct system is responsible for circulating warm air in your home if you have a forced air furnace or heat pump. Leaky ducts can reduce the overall efficiency of your system by 20 percent, according to the EPA. Sealing those leaky ducts can save you up to $140 each year and help to consistently heat each room in your home.
Jennifer Griffin, Contributing Writer and Public Relations, GreeningDetroit.com
Jennifer is pursuing a degree in Journalism and English from Wayne State University, and she is also a Contributing Writer for The South End.