Tips to improve your home's energy efficiency
1. Fall's cool weather is a great reminder to improve the energy efficiency in your home before winter is officially here
2. According to the Department of Energy heating homes uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in the homemaking up about 42% of a utility bill.
3. Here are four DIY projects to reduce energy bills this winter, while making your home more cozy for the upcoming holidays
Step One: Insulation: About 90% of homes are under-insulated, according to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association.
Insulation makes a home more comfortable through the winter and it reduces the home's energy use by up to 20%.
o At The Home Depot our merchants and Owen Corning worked together to develop a new insulation called Pure Safety insulation. Pure Safety insulation maintains healthy air quality in your home and is certified asthma & allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
o It's fire resistant and can provide valuable extra minutes in the event of a fire.
o It also reduces noise to help you sleep better by absorbing and reducing noise levels across a broad range of sound frequencies.
o We're the only ones who sell it.
To find the right level of insulation, known as the R-value, visit www.homedepot.com/energy to use the online calculator.
Step Two: Change the lights: The time changes on November 5, with shorter days and longer nights. Changing to energy efficient light bulbs is a simple way to keep costs down.
LED bulbs will save you money on your energy bills because they use 85% less energy than regular incandescent bulbs.
A great bulb option for areas in the home you want the most light, like high ceilings, is this Cree 75-Watt replacement LED R20. This bulb is one of the brightest R20 LED bulbs available.
o Switching to LED means you change light bulbs less, as they are designed to last more than 20 years.
o It also saves you money in the end because the color and brightness of LED bulbs emit more light than other regular incandescent bulbs.
Step Three: Seal and insulate: The average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two-foot square hole - that's like leaving a window open all day, according to the Department of Energy. Sealing and insulating the shell of your home like the outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors and floors is often the most cost effective way to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.
With products such as caulk, spray foam, weather stripping and ENERGY STAR® certified insulation, you can save up to $200 each year or 10% in heating and cooling costs.
One inexpensive, fast air sealing solution is GREAT STUFF Window and Door Insulating Foam Sealant Quick Stop Straw. For windows, doors and skylights, this minimal-expanding foam with a low pressure build forms a durable, airtight and water-resistant seal.
Step Four: Install a smart programmable thermostat:
Upgrading your outdated thermostat to one that is programmable can save more than $200 a year.
Smart programmable thermostats like the ecobee4 Wi-Fi Thermostat, are designed for ease of use and energy savings.
The ecobee thermostat is great to have in your home, especially as the temperature continues to drop this time of year. It has a built-in Amazon Alexa Voice service, which listens to your voice commands and responds, and you can control it from anywhere using your iOS or Android device.
It also includes a room sensor to help manage hot and cold spots to not only ensure comfort when you are home, but also savings when you're not home.