Fall came in like a lamb this year, but suddenly the weather has turned more winter-like in the northeast. I don’t know about you, but the heat has been on in our house for a while now. Our development was built on an old pig farm, and there are not many trees to shelter us from the harsh wind that blasts our homes all year long, but now is when we really start to feel it. Our builder and his contractors, like many others, just did the bare minimum when it came to building an energy-efficient home so we’ve had to take measures ourselves. There are many easy ways to make your home energy efficient
It’s not necessarily very fun to lay out cash to modify your home’s energy efficiency. We’d much rather be spending money on new furniture, drapes or a bathroom remodel but it’s the smart thing to do, and in the long haul the money saved will eventually provide the funds needed to do those fun home improvements.
We’ve already compensated for the cost of our very first project, in the form energy savings. Just by adding extra insulation to your attic, you can help your home hold more heat in the winter, and keep more cool in the summer. There are some other easy ways to seal air leaks such as: caulking around windows and cracks in and around you home.
We’re pretty sure out builder installed the cheapest kind of fireplace known to man. It’s a very shallow and inefficient firebox. It may look like it has a brick interior, but it does not and we’re constantly feeling cold air drafts from it. We have hated this thing as long as we’ve lived here and we are finally installing an efficient wood-burning stove. It’s going to be a costly project, but it will be worth it in the end because not only will it save us from having to use our heat as much, it will provide us with comfort in our home. An inexpensive way to seal your fireplace, if you do not plan on using it, is to seal it off with insulation and add glass doors.
Something else we just did as we entered the fall season is have a professional come and tune up the furnace. We have two, and we paid someone to come out and asses so that we know how well it’s working and find out if any repairs are needed. It’s important to have someone trustworthy come out to check your systems before it gets too cold outside because you don’t want to find out about a problem in the middle of winter during a snowstorm. We found that our motor was leaking so we are going to replace it. If your budget doesn’t allow for a tune-up, make sure you change and clean your furnace’s air filters and seal leaks in your duct work with tape.
No matter how much money you have to spend, there are many things you can do to help increase your home’s energy efficiency. Visit PG&E for tips broken down by cost, areas of focus, and even appliances. So start planning your home projects now and keep more of that costly heat inside your home.
There are so many more projects we will be working on so I know I’ll be entering #PGEhome Instagram Photo Challenge Contest going on now through November 23rd for a chance to win one of seven $100 Home Depot gift cards!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Melissa Vera says
Thank you for these great tips. We are in process of winterizing our house right now.
Cool contest and good tips for saving energy costs. We’ve been doing a few of these updates around our own house.
Amanda McMahon says
What great ideas. I know that energy and “heat” (and your money) can go seriously up in smoke if you have an inefficient system.
Erica Brooks says
These are some great tips. We had a home energy efficient expert come in last year and make some changes that significantly cut back on our expenses.