Working with heating, cooling, energy and efficiency issues regularly, we put together a list of things you can do to improve energy efficiency in your home. The ones we’re most familiar with have to do with furnaces, and they’re at the top of the list (although the order of this list doesn’t mean anything). Some of the tips on the list will even help you avoid Platte City HVAC or furnace repair! Some tips require more work than others, and it’s up to you to pick the ones that you’re ready, willing and able to spend time on.
Improve Energy Efficiency
1. Use new furnace filters every month. We’ve said it before, but clean filters put less drain on the HVAC system as it requires less energy to blow air through. You’ll use less energy, your air will be cleaner and your furnace will work less. This is our top suggestion for improving home energy efficiency. More about changing your filter here.
2. Service the system. We mean that…. whatever kind of system you have. If you have a wood burning stove, clean the fireplace chimney, check your wood, and all the relevant elements. Whatever system you’ll be relying on, it will run better when it’s clean, leaks are sealed and all the adjustments have been made. Regardless of the kind of system (furnace, wood stove, boiler, heat pump, etc.), have it cleaned and serviced. We provide this service through our Comfort Care program. We believe in it. Dirt and debris are often the number one cause of furnace failures.
3. Install a programmable thermostat if you haven’t already! The least expensive ones start at just $25. Having one will allow you to change the temperature for the night, your waking hours, the hours you’re away from home, when you get back home. KCP&L used to provide ones that you could program from your computer, while away from home. Check out what Adam says about his new thermostat. Any questions about this, give us a call.
4. Switch to a high-efficiency furnace. There have been many, many innovations in recent years. The newer units now are smaller, significantly more efficient, and quieter. Some families choose to upgrade because of the improved reliability. We can talk to you about this if you’d like more information.
5. Deal with your ducts. Forced-air heating systems rely on ductwork to transport heated air to living spaces. Leaks in ductwork are common along the many joint lines, and those leaks diminish efficiency considerably. Aluminum tape can be purchased at most hardware stores and you can do this yourself. An HVAC professional or home energy auditor can also talk to you about it.
6. Book an energy audit. Accredited energy advisors can identify your specific energy-wasters and provide you with a list of improvements and upgrades. This is a great place to start if you don’t know where to begin. Often people say the first place to take action is to seal (caulk) everything. When an energy audit comes with a blower test, the results will show you where the most important areas are to seal.
7 . Take care of the attic and/or crawlspace. Insulating the attic will provide big benefits and help your house hold the heat. Warm air naturally rises, but insulation makes it rise slower and prevents it from escaping. Subterranean spaces are typically a major source of air infiltration. At a minimum, air-seal the rim joist area that rests on the top of the foundation wall – it’s the biggest source of air cold air permeation. Spray foam combined with rigid foam insulation is a good combination for cost and energy efficiency.
8. Seal around the main entry door. If any amount of daylight around the door can be seen, or you can feel a draft, you need new weather-stripping! It’s an inexpensive and easy remedy. Your main door matters the most, but all exterior doors could be weather-stripped as well. Remove a small piece of the old weather-stripping and bring it to the hardware store to get replacement material you know will fit. A good-quality storm door will add even more energy efficiency.
9. Turn on your ceiling fans. The winter setting is the reverse of the summer setting, and it pushes warm air down from ceiling into the living area. Fans, of course, use less energy than furnaces.
10. Vacuum the coils at the back of your fridge. Your refrigeration is often a big energy consumer, and when the coils are covered in dust, they work less efficiently and use more energy to keep its cool. This should be done a couple of times a year.
11. Deal with the windows! Caulk them to cut down on drafts OR shrink wrap them with plastic OR replace them altogether. Switching to heavier drapes will also help prevent the cold from coming in.
Choose from any of these options to Improve Energy Efficiency in the comfort in your home.