|The kids are ready for summer, |
but is your home ready, too?
Our top 10 energy tips range from dirt-cheap to painfully pricey. Choose what your budget will allow.
Tip No. 1: Ask your electric company for a free home energy audit or hire a professional to evaluate your home’s energy efficiency.
Tip No. 2: Replace your old incandescent light bulbs with CFL and LED bulbs, which use less energy and put out less heat.
Tip No. 3: Check the weather-stripping and caulking around your windows and doors. If they’re loose, you’re letting hot air slip through the cracks.
Tip No. 4: Install ceiling fans in most rooms. While they don’t actually lower the room temperature, they make you feel cooler, which will keep you away from the thermostat.
Tip No. 5: Improve your air conditioner’s efficiency by removing plants and other materials from around your outdoor unit. Make sure the coils are clean.
Tip No. 6: Replace your air filters once a month, or as recommended. This will improve air flow and give you cleaner air to breathe.
Tip No. 7: Hire a licensed professional to check out your A/C unit and look for leaks in the air ducts.
Tip No. 8: When it’s time to replace an appliance, water heater or exterior door, buy one that is Energy Star ® certified.
Tip No. 9: Make sure you have adequate insulation in your attic. Insulation gets compacted over time and loses its efficiency. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recommends thermal resistance of R-30 to R-38, which is about eight to 12 inches deep. Adding insulation could cost you $1,000 or more, but it could cut your electric bills by 20 percent.
Tip No. 10: Replace your old single-pane windows with insulated, double-paned, low-E (low-emissivity) windows. They’ll keep your house cooler and reduce outside noise. On a budget? Try caulking, weather stripping and tinting your windows. Thermal curtains can also keep the heat out.
When you’re done weather-proofing your home, you can sit back and enjoy a long, cool summer! For more tips and related articles, check out our blog.