The energy choices you make in your home affect your bottom line. Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to accomplish the same task. Save money with these 10 tips for winter:
Maximize passive solar:
Embrace the power of the sun to warm your home this winter. South-facing windows pack a one-two punch in your home’s overall energy efficiency. First, they flood the home with natural light, negating the need for artificial light. Second, they fill the home with much-needed (and free!) warmth from the sun.
Embrace window coverings:
Blinds and curtains serve a greater purpose than simply as interior decoration—they are also functional. Draw the curtains at night to insulate against cold temperatures and block drafts. In the morning, open them to allow the sun’s rays to warm the home throughout the day.
Schedule a furnace checkup:
Annual maintenance to keep your furnace in tip-top condition pays dividends not only in the daily efficiency of the system but it also staves off an expensive major repair.
Lower the thermostat:
One easy way to lower your winter electricity bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, is to use a programmable thermostat. For times when you are home and awake, set the temperature at 68 degrees; at nighttime, set it as low as possible while remaining comfortable.
Say goodbye to cold air seeping into your home this winter. First, detect where drafts exist. Obvious places to check include the following:
- Attic/crawl space
- Dryer vent opening
- Outdoor faucets
- Wall outlets and switch plates
- Spots where foundation and siding/exterior brick meet
Detect less obvious leaks with a blower door test or an energy audit through Xcel Energy. Once you’ve identified culprit areas, get busy caulking and applying weather stripping to seal the spaces.
Replace the furnace filter:
Filters trap dust, dirt, dander, and more. Depending on your furnace model and the filters used, swap out filters as often as monthly to maintain clean air and maximum efficiency in your home. Replacing a filter is easy and worth the time to ensure your system is running in top condition.
Clear all air ducts:
It’s natural for a home’s ductwork to gather dust and debris over time. A clogged air duct blocks heat from passing through. Therefore, it’s important to clear and seal the ducts for maximum efficiency. Hire out the work or DIY with this tutorial.
Adjust the water heater:
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 120 degrees Fahrenheit is the sweet spot when it comes to the temperature in your water heater. This not only prevents scalding accidents but also helps homeowners conserve energy, saving them money on their monthly electric bills.
Reverse all ceiling fans:
Keep warm air circulating throughout any room simply by reversing the ceiling fan’s motor to operate in a clockwise direction.
Mind the garage door:
Guilty of leaving the garage door lifted? Winter is the time to break the habit. Unless you’re coming or going, keep the door lowered to trap heat and insulate your home against chilly outdoor air.
Bonus tip: buy new!
Ready for ultimate energy efficiency? Buying a new home bypasses (or at least delays) the need to employ several tips listed above. With a brand-new, low-maintenance Berkeley home, from day one you’ll enjoy:
- A brand-new energy-efficient furnace
- Programmable thermostats
- All new, highly efficient vinyl low-e windows
- High-quality, draft-free craftsmanship
- And more!
Whether you’ve owned your home for a while or are just getting acquainted with your brand-new Berkeley home, it’s easy to cut costs by making a few simple, conscientious choices. Implement these tips and more to maximize your home’s energy efficiency this winter.
Ready to move? Start your search with Berkeley Homes, one of the Denver area’s most trusted, well-reputed home builders. When it comes to energy efficiency, a brand-new home is the sensible choice. Our low-maintenance, high-functionality homes—constructed with unparalleled craftsmanship—are sure to impress. Contact us today to explore the inventory of beautiful Berkeley Homes available now.