Few things are more exciting than buying your own home for the very first time. With some much to get in order and so many thoughts to gather, energy efficiency probably isn’t the first concern in your mind. We can certainly argue that it should be, but that’s neither here nor there. For now, we’re here to help you work on making your new home as energy efficient as possible.
- First, you’ll want to make a checklist of energy efficiency problems that need to be addressed in your new home. An energy technician will go through some tests and inspections to look for any inefficiencies and find major energy drains. Depending on what your energy technician finds will determine your next moves.
- Most first-time homeowners find themselves sealing leaks. Add insulation to your attic, install weatherstripping to windows and doors, and inspect your basement and crawlspace for holes. It’s thought that up to 20% of the air that moves through home duct systems is lost due to leaks and cracks. Fixing these small problems can lead to big savings down the road.
- If your new home doesn’t already have them, it’s worth looking into installing new energy efficient heating and cooling systems. Over half of the average household’s utility bills is spent in this area alone, so upgrading them could bring significant savings for you and the planet.
- Your water heater should be down to 120ºF, as it already eats nearly a quarter of your home’s energy costs. Using low-flow shower heads can also increase your water heater’s efficiency by lessening its overall workload.
- Replace any incandescent lightbulbs with CFLs. CFL bulbs, or compact fluorescent lightbulbs, can use up to 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, and they last up to 10 times longer. Changing these over will bring major improvements to your long-term comfort and finances.
- Check for home energy credits. First time buyers receive a lot of benefits, and you may qualify for various credits depending on your home’s energy efficiency features.
If you’re reading this, you’ve either purchased or are thinking of purchasing your own home for the first time. It’s an incredible change to your life, and making sure that you do everything you can to help yourself out in regard to both cost and comfort is important. Energy efficiency may not seem special, but it’s critical to making the best out of your new home.