Winter is as set in as it's going to be and you already may be noticing higher utility bills as a result of the cold weather, according to The Miami Herald.
Kevin Brenner, an energy efficiency expert and CEO of GetHealthyHome.com, offers these tips on how to make your home more energy-efficient:
Do an energy audit — Conduct an energy assessment with a professional. Some utility companies now offer free or low-cost assessments. It's much easier to address problem areas in your home once you can identify them.
- Change a few simple things in your home for optimum energy performance, such as:
- Open curtains and shades on south facing windows to allow the warmth of the sun in.
- Re-caulk old windows.
- Move your furniture off of drafty exterior walls and onto interior walls.
- Replace air filters regularly.
- Install high grade weather stripping around doors.
Upgrade or repair appliances — Overhaul or replace furnaces, hot water heaters and appliances that are a major energy drain:
- Replace an older furnace with a high efficiency system: If your furnace was built before 1992 and has a standing pilot, it probably wastes 35 percent of the fuel it uses, and it is probably near the end of its service life.
- Improve the efficiency of your hot water system: First, turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees). Second, insulate your hot water lines so they don't cool off as quickly between uses. Third, use low-flow fixtures for showers and baths.
Read more about energy efficient heating and cooling.