Home Improvement

Energy Saving Tips For Winter

January 21, 2014, 10:49 AM

Keep the Earth & Your Bank Balance Green!

Just imagine that all the wasted energy escaping from your home was visible to you, like water from the faucet. 

If you are like most people, you’d see that you are “filling the bathtub” every six hours! There are many things you can do, both yourself and through the help of service professionals, that will reduce both your carbon footprint and your energy costs. At Hire It Done, we’re here to help you save energy and money.

While it may be both stylish and socially responsible to be green, it definitely makes financial sense to increase the efficiency of your home. From simple things like unplugging countertop appliances while not in use, to adding insulation and  window and roof replacement, there are many ways you can cut your energy consumption.

Here are some inexpensive and easy things you can start today:

  • Unplug countertop appliances when not in use
  • Use energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs versus traditional incandescent bulbs
  • Keep your hot water tank setting on “warm” – at or below 120 degrees – or invest in a new tankless system
  • Use a digital thermostat versus the older dial models
  • Keep shades drawn in room during the day when it’s cloudy -- this reduces heat loss through the windows
  • Clean or change your furnace air filter every 30 days

The professionals offer a wide array of energy saving services, which virtually pay for themselves in a very short time. A dollar spent today can often pay big dividends to you for years to come. For instance:

  • Is your attic properly insulated and vented? Most heat escapes through the roof and the best way to guard against that is by proper insulation and ventilation. A roofing professional can determine if additional insulation is needed. An easy way for homeowners to gauge for themselves is by the appearance of ice dams on the roof and eaves. If you have icicles hanging down on your home -- and they’re not the Christmas electronic variety -- you need to have your roof’s ventilation and insulation checked. The Department of Energy recommends an “R” factor of 49 (“R-49”).
  • Do you need new windows? Second only to roof integrity, older windows are notorious for letting the heat escape and the cold air in. Depending on how old your home is, it may be the best way to stop the drafts that older steel frame windows have become famous for. I recommend double pane low “e” glass windows, but remember that the best window is the one that is installed properly!
  • Do your exterior entrances have properly fitting storm doors? It’s hard not to notice the draft around exterior doors and a good way to negate that is by adding a well fitting storm door.
  • Are your exterior seals in tact? Every wire, pipe and vent that comes out of your house also breaks the integrity of the wall it comes out of. Make sure each penetration is caulked to prevent heat loss and stop insect infestation.
  • Is it time to replace your older furnace? If your furnace is more than 35 years old you may want to consider investing in a new high-efficiency furnace. HE furnaces save nearly one-third the energy expended by older models. The savings in fuel costs, amortized over the life of the appliance, are significant. Your HVAC professional can calculate the specific savings achieved. Look for 95% efficiency of better.
  • Are your appliances “Energy Star” rated? When it comes time to replacing household appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers make sure it has the energy star seal notating its energy efficiency.
  • Is it time to have your ductwork cleaned? Your furnace will work at its optimum when it is clean. Older homes will especially benefit from getting ductwork cleaned. Believe it or not, the average home has 17 pounds of dust in the ductwork!

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, let Hire It Done help you with the leg work and find experts in your area who will do the work efficiently and professionally. Remember, Hire It Done will find you up to four different qualified contractors for each job you need done. And best of all, your new ‘energy efficient’ home will pay you back for years to come!

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Photo Of The Day 

Potd__mg_9613-2_155 Metal sculpture in the Hart Plaza Civic Center, Detroit

By: Michael Lucido