Heating bills are rising up in every part of the country and the trend will continue because of World energy demands. The average US household expense on energy bills is estimated at 6% of the income in 2005, compared to 4% in 2003. Owners of efficient new houses spend considerably less than the people living in old houses. Financial burden due to increased energy expenses can be reduced by weatherizing and conserving.
Your house can be energy deficient in plumbing, insulation or heating. In many old houses, the biggest problem is not the cold air coming from windows but the air filtration from the basement due to floor joists and the structures supporting the floor. In an average American home, 50%-70% of the energy used goes to heating and cooling.
If your house is built before 1980, it may no have adequate insulation. While most owners focus on attic insulation, they should not ignore the basement ceiling. Fiber glass is not a good insulation material as air flows right through it. Use spray foam or cellulose as an insulation materials for proper insulation.
Caulk and weather-strip all doors and windows that leak air. Look for all plumbing, ducting and electrical wiring the penetrates through exterior walls and seal those to prevent hot air leaking out. Keep the flue damper tightly closed when the fire place is not in use. If you are planning to change windows in your house, shop for insulating windows and install them as tight fitting as possible. You can use heavy duty clear plastic sheet to the inside of your window and seal them properly to prevent any leak.
Another areas where home owners can focus to reduce their energy bill is conservation. If you have an old thermostat, replace it with a new electronics control thermostat with digital readouts.. An electronics control thermostat is more precise than an dial type thermostat.
Better, yet, is a programmable thermostat that you can program for the different hours of the day and night. Replace air filters regularly. If your house has a hot water radiator, bleed it once or twice during the winter season. If you don’t know how to do this, search in the Internet or get the help of a professional.
When you buy new appliances, look for the “Energy Star label. Energy Star labeled appliances are certified to be energy efficient. Most appliances now display a bright yellow and black Energy Guide label. These labels will tell you the average energy consumption cost of the appliance. While shopping for any appliance, do not forget to take into account this cost as another factor to evaluate before you make your final decision. You can find more energy tips at www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips.