10 Ways Your Home Can Be More Energy Efficient

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America fails to capture some two-thirds of the power it generates, much of it through simple waste, according to federal research. America is one of the top-ranking countries in energy waste not only among all nations.

As homeowners, we’re all guilty of bad habits — but small changes can make a big difference in the amount of waste you produce each day. You might even be able to write off energy-saving upgrades when you file your taxes.

Energy efficiency is more than just purchasing the latest appliances that say they use less energy. To truly have an energy efficient home, you must be actively involved in conserving energy.

To help you learn how to save energy at home, try these ten tips to be more energy efficient:

1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could save around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills by lowering your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours a day. A programmable thermostat makes this task easier for you because it lets you choose what days and times you want to heat your home and at what temperatures — without having to think about it. This coupon can save you money on a digital programmable thermostat.

2. Seal Your Windows
If your windows have worn weather stripping, you could be enabling drafts and letting in unnecessary cold air — which will in turn make your heater run more often and use unnecessary extra energy. In general, you should replace these window seals every five years.

3. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
According to Energy Star, water heating consumes about 90 percent of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Unless you’re dealing with difficult stains, use cold water to wash clothes. If you switch the cycle from hot to warm, you could cut your energy use in half. Using the cold cycle reduces energy even more.

4. Replace Furnace Filters
An old furnace filter is one of the most common (and avoidable) HVAC issues. A clogged, dirty filter will limit airflow and cause pressure to build up in the furnace. By simply changing your filter, you can increase your heat output and efficiency.

5. Take Shorter Showers
Long showers may be relaxing, but they’re also notorious for wasting water. An average shower uses about five gallons of water per minute. By simply shortening your shower by two minutes, you can cut your water use by 10 gallons.

6. Insulate Water Pipes
If you insulate your hot water pipes, you could reduce heat loss and produce water temperature 2°F to 4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver (allowing you to lower your hot water temperature setting). This small change could lose you as little as $10 but save you 3 to 4 percent on energy annually.

7. Seal Air Ducts
In general, houses with forced-air heating lose about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the system to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. If you check your ductwork and find a leak, Alexandria HVAC service professionals should be able to cover it with a mastic sealant or metal tape.

8. Use Window Shades Wisely
Something as little as window shades has the potential to make a difference in the temperature of your home. During the cold weather, take advantage of the sun’s warmth by keeping drapes open. In the summer, close your window shapes to keep the heat out.

9. Turn Down the Water Heater Temperature
Most manufacturers set the water heater thermostat to 140°F, but they really only need to be set at 120°F. In fact, if your water heater is set too high, you could be wasting anywhere from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses.

10. Get an HVAC Inspection
HVAC tune-ups or maintenance includes a comprehensive check of your entire unit. It usually includes duct and filter inspection, motor lubrication, pressure checks, part cleaning and connection tightening, among other things. If you follow regular tune-ups and maintenance checks (in addition to following proper insulation, air sealing, and thermostat techniques), you can cut your heating and cooling energy use by 20 to 50 percent. Make sure to use a flat-rate company to ensure you get charged fairly for quality work.

How energy efficient is your home?
We all want to do our part to protect the environment, but there’s a pragmatic reason to make your home more energy-efficient, too. Saving energy means saving money.

Learn more about energy efficient homes and consider annual HVAC and plumbing inspections with John C. Flood to make sure you’re not wasting money. Schedule service online or call (703) 783-0247 to learn more ways your home can be more energy efficient.

John C FloodWith more than 100-years of experience serving the DMV area, John C. Flood provides excellent plumbing, air conditioning, heating, and electrical services! Their experience, expertise, and reliability make them the area’s go-to for homeowners and renters needing maintenance, repair, and service on a variety of HVAC and plumbing needs!

Plus, it’s easy to book an appointment online, and John C. Flood will put you on their convenient list of check-up customers, so you’ll always have regular inspections and catch plumbing problems before they grow! Call them today at (703) 752-3901 and mention "DULLES" for 15% off your first service call!

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