A recent survey caught my eye detailing what Americans most want in their homes. It was conducted by the Demand Institute, a non-profit organization run by the Conference Board, a business group, and Nielsen, the organization responsible for TV ratings. They surveyed a whopping 10,000 households and found the number one thing most Americans desire for their homes but don’t necessarily have is energy efficiency.
This isn’t surprising, because energy costs are continually on the rise and take a big chunk of the average household budget. Average household spending on home electricity has grown 56% since 2000, according to the report. While 71% of respondents said they thought their home’s energy efficiency was important, only 35% of those people said they were satisfied with their current home’s energy efficiency.
I’ll take a wild guess and presume that many of you reading this are among those unhappy American home owners. Put another way, you’re sick and tired of seeing so much of your hard-earned money going to heat and cool your house!
Here are two of the simplest things you can do about it.
- Let’s begin with the easiest, least costly step you can take. Make sure your heating equipment and related ductwork or piping is well insulated and not leaking. Next time our technician visits your home on a service call or as part of your regular inspection and maintenance program, ask about performing a home energy audit.
Tiny air leaks in most existing homes can waste as much energy as leaving a bathroom window open in the freezing cold of winter and the sticky heat of summer when your furnace or air conditioner is on full blast.
Closing off these leaks via air sealing is one of the least expensive and most cost-effective measures you can take to improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. By sealing uncontrolled air leaks, you can expect to see savings of 10% to 20% on your heating and cooling bills, even more if you have an older or especially leaky house.
- Get a programmable thermostat, if you don’t already have one in your home. Studies have shown that programmable thermostats can cut heating and cooling costs by around 20%.
Programmable thermostats have been around quite a while but some homeowners resist them because of their upfront cost. Do some quick arithmetic on how much you pay each year to heat and cool your home. Then subtract 20% from that. I think you’ll find that the expense of getting a programmable thermostat installed will pay for itself in a rather short period of time.
Some people, especially senior citizens, also resist them because they think programmable thermostats are complicated to operate. The current generation of programmable thermostats is much easier to program than the ones that came out years ago. Some models actually program themselves once they learn your comfort preferences.
Give us a call to put a stop to your runaway heating and cooling costs.