Creating an energy efficient home is essential nowadays in view of the escalating cost of fossil fuel. An energy efficient home not only has huge environmental benefits, it also lowers your utility bills. Lowering your utility bills is obviously the single most important advantage an energy efficient home can do.

According to the EPA, the average American family spends $1300 a year on energy bills. What would you say cutting that by 20 to 30 percent – a savings of $260 to $390? There are things you can do to achieve this such as fixing or replacing house components and fixing your household’s habits. Take a look around your house – you can make a difference in just a few hours.

Let us start by fixing or replacing your home components to create an energy efficient home. We will talk about fixing the household habits in creating energy efficient home in a different article. You can read about the article by following the link here:

Energy Efficient Homes – Changing your household habits

Some tips on energy efficient homes are that you can start with the heating or cooling system. Clean or replace your furnace or air-conditioning filter monthly, or as recommended by your model. Dirty filter make heating and cooling system works harder. If you system is more than ten or fifteen years hold and needs frequent repairs, it may be more cost-effective to replace it with a new, energy efficient model.

In addition, a programmable thermostat is very effective in creating an energy efficient home. You can start by investing in a programmable thermostat in which you could set to automatically lower your house temperature at certain times, such as when you are at work or sleeping. Also check that your humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent (if it is too low, it could be making the air feel cold.

When shopping for new appliances, from ceiling fans to dishwasher to furnace, look for the Energy Star label. It means the product has met strict energy efficient guidelines from the EPA and the US department of Energy, and will help you save money. Similarly, choose compact fluorescent or halogen light bulb, which last longer and use less electricity than incandescent bulbs.

Besides, energy efficient homes can also be done by examining the ductwork for forced-air systems. Air leaks at joints should be sealed with duct tape. If specific rooms are too hot or cold, adjust the dampers (baffles that block or redirect airflow), identified by a medal handle on a duct. Close it to see what area it affects and label the handle with this area and its seasonal settings. In the winter, you may want to partially close a damper leading to upstairs rooms, because warm air rising from downstairs may be heating them – which is known as the ‘stack’ effect.

Other example which you can do in order to make your home energy efficient is to position dampers located on individual floor or wall register so that they direct heated air across the floor or at least away from exterior walls and windows. Plastic shields (deflectors) placed over the registers will move the air away from obstacles such as curtains and furniture. You should position furniture, rugs and appliances so that they don’t block the registers.

Dampers in small or unused rooms can be partially closed. But don’t reduce the heat so much that you risk freezing the pipe or room contents. Dampers in large rooms should be fully opened. Likewise, close fireplace dampers when the fire is not lit. For hot-water heating systems, the heat in specific rooms can be adjusted using the valves on branch pipes or radiators.

Once you have made your heating or cooling systems as efficient as possible, you can start to focus on keeping the warm or cool air inside. This means insulating, caulking and weather-stripping any place where unheated or uncooled areas (such as crawlspaces and attics) can affect the home’s living areas.

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