“Responsible homeowner” may not be be a very exciting way to describe yourself, but it’ll definitely save you money and keep you warm this winter! We’ve gathered the best tips to make your home energy efficient without breaking the bank so you can enjoy a Portland winter like a pro.
Bonus! Potentially useful tax benefits that initially expired but were then retroactively renewed for 2017 involve energy-conserving improvements made to your home. The new extension allows you to get a tax credit of 10 percent of what you spent on certain improvements such as insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, and roofs. Check with your tax professional to see how you can take advantage of this benefit and save energy!
Start at the Source: Walls, Windows, and Doors
1. Add Insulation Especially to Leaky Areas
Escaping heat can become an easy way to lose a huge amount of energy in the winter. You can find inexpensive insulation from Lowe’s or Home Depot to fill in all those areas that might allow heat to escape in the winter and cool air in the summer.
If you have an unfinished attic, it can save you energy and money in the long term.
2. Seal All the Windows and Doors.
Use window treatments that improve energy efficiency.
Add foam weather stripping for your doors and windows. It’s easy to apply and affordable.
3. Use the Sun to Your Advantage
When the sun is out, you can open up your window coverings and let that sun in! The heat from the sun can pass through your windows and help keep that room warm.
4. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Moist air feels warmer AND holds heat better, so you can feel more comfortable even when your thermostat is set to a lower temp.
Create Efficient Systems: Water Heaters, Thermostats, and HVAC (continued below)
5. Lower Your Thermostat - Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Set times that you’re not typically home for cooler temps. Change the heat setting (or automatically schedule with a smart thermostat) from anywhere to avoid heating your home when no one is there.
Limit space heater use.
6. Tune Up & Maintain Your HVAC System
A well maintained furnace and vents will reduce energy consumption. Check your furnace’s filter monthly and replace regularly.
Replace an older furnace with a high-efficiency system. While it can
7. Turn Down Hot Water Heater Setting to 120
Many conventional water heaters have their temperature set too high, which can cause you to lose a lot of energy because it’s keeping water warm even when no one is using it. Turn the temperature setting down to 120 degrees, which will easily get your clothes and dishes clean without wasting excessive energy.
8. Consider a Zone Heating & Cooling System
A zone heating and cooling system allows you to heat the areas of your home that need more warmth without wasting heat areas of your home that don’t.
Simple Tricks to Easily Conserve Energy
9. Bundle Up!
Pull out those cozy sweaters, blankets, and socks to keep warm without cranking the heat. You can even add area rugs to insulate floors.
10. Adjust Ceiling Fans
Create better airflow by changing your ceiling fans to turn clockwise on a low setting in the winter. This will trap heat inside to keep rooms warmer during cooler months.
11. When decorating for the holidays, use LED lights to reduce cost and energy.
LED holiday lights use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than the older, incandescent lighting. They also don’t emit as much heat and are less likely to break.
12. Only use exhaust fans when necessary.
Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom pull the hot air up and out of your home. Use them sparingly to save more energy.
We’re always available to talk through any additional questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to reach out via email or phone to contact us!
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