Insulating your home to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions is one of the best ways to take action against climate change. According to the Department of Energy, houses account for nearly 40 percent of the carbon emissions from residential buildings. This is because most homes are not well insulated, which means they need to use a lot of energy to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Fortunately, there are lots of simple things you can do as an individual that can make a big difference in reducing your energy bills and protecting the environment. Here are some tips on how you can insulate your home and save money while doing so.
Install a programmable thermostat
The first tip for insulating your home is to install a programmable thermostat. You may not realize it, but your thermostat is one of the most important devices in your home for reducing energy costs. In fact, according to a study by the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% on your energy bill by simply setting your thermostat correctly. You can make even greater savings by installing a programmable thermostat that allows you to program it according to your schedule. For example, you can set it to 68 degrees when you are at work and then have it switch back to 72 degrees when you return home. This will help you avoid wasting energy when no one is home and will also help you reduce your carbon footprint by lowering your energy use.
Add more insulation to your roof
The second tip for insulating your home is to add more insulation to your roof. A lot of heat escapes from homes through the attic, so you can reduce your energy bill and carbon footprint by getting an estimate for adding a layer of insulation between your roof and the attic. This will help keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and you can often get the insulation installed for little or no cost by contacting your local utility company. Many utilities offer insulation programs for homeowners, especially for people who are elderly or low-income. These programs often provide free or low-cost insulation for homes. Depending on your roof type, you may be able to add insulation without making any alterations to your roof. If you need to make alterations, most roofing contractors can install insulation for you.
Install additional insulation in your walls
The third tip for insulating your home is to install additional insulation in your walls. You can do this by removing a few sections of your walls, adding insulation, and then replacing the walls. This is a more involved process and may be better suited for contractors. You can also purchase insulation that is made to fit inside your walls. If you decide to purchase insulation, make sure that it is rated R-19 or higher. The lower the number, the more effective the insulation will be. You can find insulation at most hardware stores, but be sure to check the insulation R-value to make sure it meets the requirements of your local building code. You can also look into insulation programs offered by your utility. Many utilities offer insulation programs for homeowners, especially for people who are elderly or low-income. These programs often provide free or low-cost insulation for homes.
Install an Energy Star furnace and water heater
The fourth tip for insulating your home is to install an Energy Star furnace and water heater. Replacing your old furnace with a new Energy Star model can reduce your annual energy bill by up to $500. The same is true for Energy Star water heaters, which can save you up to $150 per year. Plus, installing an Energy Star furnace and water heater will help you avoid carbon emissions, which is good for the environment. You can compare different models of water heaters and furnaces online to find the best products for your budget and energy needs. If you qualify, you may also be able to get a low-interest loan to pay for an Energy Star model. This will allow you to make big energy savings over time.
Weatherize your home
The fifth and final tip for insulating your home is to weatherize your home. You can do this by sealing cracks around windows, doors, and electrical outlets. You can also add insulation to your attic, basement, and walls. Doing so will reduce your energy bills by preventing your home from losing heat in the winter and keeping it from getting too hot in the summer. Not only that, but it will also protect you from allergens and pests that can enter your home through holes and cracks in the walls. You can hire a contractor to do this work for you or do it yourself using online guides. It’s best to wait until the weather is cooler, so that you don’t overheat while working inside your home.
There are many things you can do to insulate your home and save money while doing so. You can install a programmable thermostat, add more insulation to your roof, install additional insulation in your walls, install an Energy Star furnace and water heater, and weatherize your home. Doing so will reduce your energy bills and protect the environment by keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
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