Making Your Home Energy Efficient: What You Should Know Before Winter Really Gets Going
The leaves have fallen; the holiday shopping season has begun; and snow has touched the ground in parts of the country. There’s no doubt about it — winter is knocking at the door, which means it’s also time to think about home energy bills.
WalletHub has ranked Colorado as having some of the cheapest energy costs in the nation. The Centennial State has a total energy cost of $244, beaten only by the District of Columbia’s $223 total energy bill. In Denver, the average utility bill — including electric, heat and water — is $116.52, according to Numbeo, a website that collects survey data about cost of living in various cities. That being said, Colorado did not make the top tier of home heating-oil prices nor home heating-oil consumption.
In other words, there’s room for improvement this winter. Here are just a few things you can do now to save later.
- Replace or Weatherize Your Windows – Did you know that replacing poor-quality windows can save 10-20% on heating energy? Windows are the biggest cause of air leakage and heat transfer. Be careful, though, as different materials perform differently with heat transfers and air leakages. Make sure you ask a professional which material might work best for your home.
- Seal the Home’s Thermal Envelope. – Exterior air leakages also cause significant energy wastes. If air is infiltrating your heating and cooling system, it’ll be forced to work harder and consequently consume more energy. The best way to deal with this issue is to find the leaks yourself, cover them, and schedule an HVAC audit. These leaks are usually found in doors, around chimneys, and underneath baseboards.
- Use A Programmable Thermostat. – A programmable thermostat can help you lower your energy consumption, while keeping your home consistently comfortable. These devices can be programmed to make necessary adjustments to your temperature. For example, you can set it to a lower temperature when you’re at work and a higher one when you’re getting home. That way, your home only uses energy when you need it to.
Colorado’s energy usage may be less costly than many other states’, but they can go still lower yet. Be sure to follow these tips to have a winter that’s as energy efficient as it is comfortable.