Ten Ways To Create A More Energy-Efficient Home
At Mattex, we pride ourselves on helping every customer find the most efficient and effective solutions to create a clean and comfortable environment. We are Central Illinois’ experts in pairing residential and commercial customers with the most energy-efficient heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems possible.
Here are ten ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency, lower your monthly energy bills and lower your overall environmental impact:
1. Know when to upgrade your HVAC equipment
The easiest way to increase your energy efficiency is to upgrade your heating and cooling system. As a system ages, it works harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, increasing your overall energy consumption. If your HVAC equipment is 8-10 years old or older, it may be time to explore upgrading your system to a more energy-efficient option.
Another way to judge if your equipment could be more efficient is to look at the SEER rating of your HVAC system. The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is how the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment is measured. The SEER is the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity, as compared to other systems. For example, a 3-ton unit may have a SEER efficiency rating of 13, 14, or 15. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system will be. The SEER rating of any given unit can range anywhere from 13 to 17.
2. Replace your R22 system
If your home’s air conditioner is older than 10 years old, it likely requires R22 (also known as “Freon”) to operate. The production, utilization and importation of R-22 has been banned as of 2020 due to its significant contribution to thinning in the ozone layer. If your current air conditioner requires R22 coolant to operate, it is in your best interest to upgrade that equipment as soon as possible.
3. Explore a tankless water heater
If you are looking for a way to cut down on energy costs, one of the first places to look is your water heater. Investing in a tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, can help lower your energy costs by up to 45% while providing hot water at the turn of your faucet.
4. Change your light bulbs to LEDs
Compared to traditional light bulbs, LED bulbs use as little as 1/10 of the energy to operate while providing just as much (or more) light for your home. Purchasing and installing LED bulbs can be a simple DIY fix to lowering your overall energy consumption.
5. Clean or replace your filters regularly
A general rule of thumb is to change your filter every 60-90 days, but if you notice a build-up on the filter at this interval, you may want to replace the filter once each month. The inexpensive filters that can be purchased at your local store are designed to be “rock catchers” — they just keep larger particulate matter from damaging your HVAC equipment. These filters are not designed to “clean the air”.
Partnering with an HVAC professional for equipment maintenance and filter replacements can help you ensure that you are utilizing the best filter for the health and comfort needs of your family.
6. Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats can automatically adjust the temperature of your home to your schedule, saving you from unnecessary heating or cooling costs when your home is unoccupied. Every extra degree of heating or cooling in your home will increase your energy consumption by 6-8%, so the energy consumption decrease from a programmable thermostat can be substantial.
7. Invest in an air purification system
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality. Indoor air quality systems are designed to trap and remove contaminants, germs, viruses, dust, smoke, and other particulates from your air.
8. Use timers to control outdoor lighting
Setting outdoor lights to only operate from dusk to dawn can reduce your energy consumption by as much as 58%. Automatic timers are a simple and cost-efficient solution to ensure your outdoor lighting is operating only at necessary times.
9. Quickly address leaking faucets
If not quickly addressed, a leaking faucet can compound to several extra gallons of unnecessary water consumption. It is wise to regularly monitor your water consumption for any unexpected increases and quickly replace faucets if you notice any leaks.
10. Control the humidity in your home
If you struggle to keep your home cool and comfortable in warmer months, you may need to address your home’s humidity. Installing a dehumidifier can help to reduce the amount of time needed to cool your home in warmer months, in turn decreasing your overall energy consumption. Mattex offers Trane and Aprilaire dehumidification systems designed to keep your home cool and comfortable in warmer months.