Staying cool can get expensive. In the U.S. alone, homeowners spend $11 million on air conditioning every year, and according to Energy Star, 20% of all utility bills are attributed to cooling costs. Believe it or not, you may be paying a lot more than you think for cooling each year.
Why? Well, the answer to this is attributed to energy efficiency. The more energy efficient your home is, the less money you are likely to spend yearly on heating and cooling costs.
There are many ways to gauge whether or not your home is energy efficient. To start, refer to this homeowner checklist.
- Check your insulation – Did you know that up to 40% of air conditioning can be lost due to lack of insulation or leaks in air ducts? This waste of cooling energy adds up in a major way every month in your utilities. Inspect your home in areas where leaks and insulation may be an issue, such as attics, basements, and windows. Sealing these uninsulated spaces and air ducts can lower your cooling costs by a minimum of 20%.
- Plant a tree – Planting trees around your home can block the sun and provide shade, keeping cooling costs down in the most natural of ways.
- Check your appliances – After 10 years, air conditioners tend or become inefficient or obsolete. While it may seem expensive to repair or replace old appliances in the long run, your decision could cost you money. Investing in new, high efficiency air conditioners could increase the energy efficiency in your home as much as 50%.
- Practice routine maintenance – Regardless of the age of your appliance, regular inspection is important to keeping your appliances as energy efficient and cost-effective as possible. Regularly clean and replace air conditioner filters to reduce energy consumption by 5 to 15%.
Energy efficiency isn’t just beneficial to your bank account–an energy efficient home reflects a concerted effort to conserving our planet’s precious energy resources. That’s the kind of change worth standing behind.