Building homes with energy efficiency in mind has become a top priority for developers and builders in the metro Atlanta new home market.
Examples of ways to make a home more energy efficient include installing double-pane windows or appliances that are Energy Star certified, which is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency. Both means of using less energy help reduce energy bills, as well as the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.
Top 10 Ways to Save:
- Install a programable thermostat in your home to automatically raise or lower the temperature when your family isn’t home.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees and insulate hot water pipes.
- Change HVAC filters every three months. Adequate airflow is critical to ensure efficient operation of your heating and cooling system.
- Caulk around windows, outside doors, exhaust fans, dryer vents, and places where pipes and wires enter the house.
- Upgrade attic insulation to a minimum of R-38 (12-14 inches). If you’re having a new roof installed, consider adding Energy Star-certified shingles.
- Switch to CFLs and LEDs. CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer. On average, LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Check air ducts for leaks. Repair with mastic (a plaster-like substance available at local hardware stores). Insulate ducts passing through unheated areas like the garage, basement and attic. Use duct wrap insulation or batt insulation and duct tape.
- Install water-saving faucets and showerheads. Check the bathroom, kitchen and outdoor spigots for leaks and repair as necessary.
- Shade your air conditioning condenser unit to increase its efficiency by up to 10 percent during peak periods.
- Replace old appliances with Energy Star appliances. Newer appliances have many features that will help you save on your monthly energy costs.
Source: SCANA Energy