Is Your Home Energy Efficient?

As our beautiful fall weather offers a temporary reprieve from scorching energy costs, energy efficiency may be at the back of your mind. But cold temperatures are around the corner, which means your energy costs will be ramping up again soon. By taking a closer look at these four areas of your home, you can reduce your energy consumption this winter.
Air Leaks
Don’t let your heated air escape! By checking for and eliminating drafts and air leaks in your home you may be able to save up to 30% a year on your energy bills. Check for gaps around wires and vents or cracks in the stucco or siding on the outside of your house and on the inside check for openings along the baseboards, at the juncture where the walls meet the ceiling and around windows and doors. Remember to concentrate on fixing the largest leaks first.
Places to look for air leaks:
  • Windows and doors
  • Cable TV and phone lines
  • Dryer vents
  • Electrical outlets
  • Baseboards
  • Window frames
  • Mail chutes
  • Vents and Fans
  • Between chimney and siding
  • Exterior corners
To make detecting leaks even easier, purchase an incense stick and slowly bring it along and next to the areas listed above. When you pass over a leak, you should see the smoke from the incense stick begin to move.
Insufficient insulation is another common cause of heat and energy loss in homes. The amount of insulation builders put in new homes has increased over the years in an effort to help efficiency. This means the older your home, the more likely you could benefit from additional insulation. In most circumstances, at least 10-15 inches of insulation is recommended in the attic.
Things to check in the attic:
  • Vapor barrier
  • Attic vents are not blocked
  • Openings for chimney and ductwork are sealed
  • Adequate insulation
Heating/Cooling Unit
You should have a professional inspect your heating and cooling equipment at least twice annually. You can sign up for a maintenance plan and save money on your tune-ups. Have your heater inspected each fall and your cooling equipment in the spring. This will keep your unit working efficiently during its lifespan. 
Change or check your air filters at least once a month. A dirty air filter can cause a strain on your heating and cooling equipment. For optimum efficiency you may want to also consider getting your air ducts resealed or replacing your current heating system for a more efficient one.
The lighting in your home accounts for roughly 10% of your monthly electric bill. Take a look around your house and check the wattage of the bulbs you use. Could you replace a higher-wattage bulb with a lower one? Have you taken advantage of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s)? CFL’s not only consume less energy, they also have a longer lifespan than ordinary light bulbs.
Using a Professional
Still looking for ways to improve your energy efficiency? A professional energy auditor has equipment and expertise to help you find ways to save that you may have missed. In addition to the things above, they will do a room-by-room analysis and look at your past energy bills to help determine where your home is the most inefficient. 
Schedule an energy audit with On Time Service Pros online or by calling 651-829-6218 or contact us for more information on how you can save on energy costs.

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