Having an energy-efficient home means you are using less energy to do the same jobs. Using less energy is better for the environment and better for our wallets.
Like a regular check-up for your health, maintaining a home maintenance routine is essential for every house’s upkeep. Our Home Maintenance Calendar has an energy efficiency focus.
If you plan to go solar eventually, there is an added benefit in greening your home before going solar.
If you already have solar, completing additional energy efficiency measures can help you maximize your solar system and increase your return on investment!
- Change your air conditioner filter – a dirty air filter causes the blower fan in the HVAC system to work harder to push air through. When it’s working harder, it’s drawing more energy, leading to higher bills. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%!
- Trim trees – If your property has any trees, have them inspected by a certified arborist, who can check for signs of illness or any dead branches and catch problems before they escalate and kill a tree. If you have a solar energy system, identify limbs that may be shading your solar array. Plan to have those limbs cut back.
- Check for signs of critters nesting around your solar panels – Neighborhood animals are prone to nesting underneath roof-mounted solar panels. Many of our customers avoid the issue with the use of critter guards. If you don’t have critter guards surrounding your solar panels, you’ll want to check for any signs of life that may pose a threat to the solar array.
- Get your clothesline ready – air drying your clothes in the sun adds nothing to your utility bill!
- Have air conditioner checked and serviced – Regular A/C maintenance can extend your unit’s life and may reduce the need for costly A/C repairs. And, resist setting the air conditioner thermostat lower than usual to cool your house quickly!
- Switch out faucet aerators – for low flow to reduce summertime water usage.
- Clean your solar panels (only if needed!) – solar panels that are clean ensure solar installations generate optimal electricity. All panels are designed for minimal maintenance; however, dust, pollen, leaves, and other contaminants often find their way onto the panel and soil the surface. For complete instructions, click here.
- Seal cracks and gaps in windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping; replace if necessary.
- Swap old, drafty windows for more energy-efficient models.
- Schedule an HVAC inspection in early fall before the heating season begins.
- Wrap insulation around outdoor faucets and pipes in unheated garages.
- Swap lightbulbs for LEDs – Heading into shorter daylight hours means you’ll be using the lights in your home even more. LED bulbs to use about 75%–80% less energy than traditional bulbs. Changing out 5 of your most frequently used bulbs for LEDs could save you up to $75 annually.
- Consider new attic insulation for the wintertime – If you have an unfinished attic, consider adding insulation. Adding insulation is the most accessible place to reduce your energy costs. To judge whether you need more insulation in your attic, measure the thickness of the insulation there. If it’s less than 6 inches of fiberglass or 5 inches of loose cellulose, it’s time to add more!
- Add a hot water blanket to your water heater – insulating a water heater that is warm to the touch can save you 7 – 16% on your water heating bill annually!
- Add an attic staircase cover – In many homes, poorly insulated and leaky attic access stairs provide an opportunity to improve comfort and save energy and money. You can air seal and insulate the attic stairs opening by building your own insulated cover box or purchasing a kit or pre-built package.
- Add a few energy-saving power strips
- Slow the escape of heat through glass windows – hang insulating curtains or draperies in front of windows to reduce the heat loss, especially at night
- Prepare for a storm – Consider solar battery backup if your home is prone to power outages or if you have critical appliances that need electricity in the event of a grid failure.