Locate and seal air leaks.
You could save 5%-30% on your energy bills by reducing drafts. Look for gaps along baseboards and where walls join ceilings. Check the exterior for leaks that can occur where two different building materials meet.
Once you pinpoint the problem areas, seal them by caulking all holes and cracks around faucets, pipes, electrical outlets and wiring. Seal leaks in the mortar, siding, doors, windows and foundations as well.
Check the insulation.
If your home has less than the recommended minimum amount of insulation, you could be losing large amounts of energy through your walls and ceilings.
- Check to see if the attic hatch is as insulated as the attic.
- Make sure pipes, ducts and chimneys are sealed with permanent sealers.
- Your water heater, hot water pipes and furnace ducts should all be insulated.
- Check for insulation on exterior walls. Turn off the circuit breaker and unscrew any fuses. Once you’re sure the outlets aren’t conducting electricity, remove the cover plate from one outlet and burrow into the wall with a thin stick or tool. A plastic crochet hook works well. If you feel any resistance, you have insulation.
Inspect heating and cooling equipment.
Ideally, you should have this equipment professionally checked and serviced once a year.
Appliances and electronics.
To reduce the amount of energy your appliances and electronics use, think about:
- Unplugging an item when it’s not in use.
- Using an item less often.
- Changing the settings on the item.
- Buying a new product that’s more energy efficient.