Abode Home Inspections, LLC
Contact our office at 410-661-6962 or email us
Homeowners sometimes find it hard to get excited about simply saving energy, but if you can combine energy conservation with comfort improvements, everyone is happy.
- Insulate the Attic Trap Door: Insulating and weather stripping the trap door to the attic is one of the best energy-saving measures you can take. It costs little and will eliminate a large heat loss as well as potential attic moisture problems.
- Lower the Water Heater Temperature: Lower the water heater temperature to the lowest setiing you find comfortable, reducing the continuous heat loss from storing a tank of hot water. Water feels hot at 105 degrees, and at 115 degrees water can cause first-degree burns.
The dial on a gas water heater does not indicate the actual water temperature, so set the heater to the lowest or "warm" setting and check the temperature at the hot water faucet the next day.
Electric water heaters may have a setting that indicates the actual temperature. Sometimes the dial is exposed on the side of the heater, but most often it is under the top cover. Be careful when you open the cover, since there may be some "hot" exposed wires beneath.
- Set your Thermostat Wisely: In the winter, lowering the heating system temperature by 1 degree can save you up to 3 percent on your heating bill. Try to live with the thermostat set at 68 degrees. In the summer, try setting the thermostat at 78 degrees for cooling. During a period of hot weather, leave your air conditioning system on throughout. Don't turn it on and off from day to day. The air conditioner removes moisture from interior air, helping you feel comfortable.
- Weather strip and Caulk: Every year, check cauling and sealant around any penetration through your home's exterior. Check window and door caulking. You'll eliminate drafts and make your home more comfortable. Visit a hardware store to find products for insulating your windows and doors; door sweeps, foam strips, rubber tapes, closed-cell foam tape, etc.
- Install a Low-Flow Showerhead: Low-flow showerheads have sufferd a bad reputation for several years, but now many good options are available. A good one uses much less than 2.5 gallons per minute. Adding a flow control valve at the showerhead allows everyone to adjust the flow to his or her preferences.
- Install Lighting Controls: For walk-in closets or storage areas, replace the switch with a 15-minute timer. For exterior lights, use fixtures with a built-in photo-eye control so the light only operates after dark.
- Stop All Water Leaks: Repair any leaking faucet to save energy and water, a precious resource. A small drip that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes wastes about 3,280 gallons of water per year. This also wastes the energy required to pump the water, heat it, and treat it in the sewer or septic system.