Problem Areas can Lead to High Home Energy Bills

Maintaining a household is a big investment, and your energy bills can be among your biggest monthly expenses. But if you know where to look, there are many things you can do around your home that will reduce energy usage and help you save money.

Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas at Direct Energy, says there are five areas homeowners tend to neglect when thinking about energy efficiency:

• It’s time for a new furnace – Replace your old inefficient furnace, especially if it’s more than 17 years old. A new high efficiency furnace will operate at 96 percent efficiency.

• Don’t forget the AC unit – Often, the central air conditioning unit is the same age as the furnace. Replace it at the same time as the furnace so that both are operating efficiently.

• Upgrade the thermostat too – Making a smart investment in a new high efficiency furnace and AC is further enhanced if you install a programmable thermostat that is designed to operate with your new equipment. With that new thermostat, you can better regulate when and how much you are using your HVAC system, and with better controls on that usage, your electricity bill can go down because you’re using less energy.

• Have you looked in your attic recently? – Especially if you live in an older home, I recommend that you check your attic to confirm how much insulation you have. If it is at or below the top of the ceiling joists in the attic, have it topped up with blown-in insulation so that you’re keeping the heat you want without needing to constantly keep your heater running.

• Fix leaks – Simple repairs like replacing exterior door sweeps, upgrading the weather-stripping to doors and windows can quickly decrease the air leakage in the home and increase the comfort level year round.

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For more information about how your home can reduce energy usage, visit me online at Dave’s Corner.