9 Tips to Help Reduce Energy Consumption in Your Virginia Home
With today’s high energy costs, Virginia homeowners are looking for ways to save on their annual usage. If your goal is to reduce energy consumption and lower your household operating costs, the following tips can help:
- Augment your attic insulation. Topping up the insulation on the floor of your attic to a total of R-49 will create a better heat barrier that helps limit energy losses.
- Reduce hot water waste. If your faucets and showerheads are due for replacement, update them with low-flow versions. Alternately, install aerating screens on your current fixtures to slash your water heating energy use.
- Seal up your home’s shell. To keep your heated and cooled air inside, use foam sealant, caulk and weatherstripping to seal cracks and gaps around exterior doors and windows, and wherever pipes, vents and wiring penetrate the shell.
- Stop standby power drain. Up to 75 percent of the energy used by computers, electronics and similar devices gets consumed while they’re in standby mode. To cut this waste, plug these devices into power strips, and hit the “off” switch when they’re not in use.
- Investigate your renewable energy options. Become less dependent on your electric company by installing photovoltaic panels, or a solar hot water heater.
- Replace your single-pane windows. Upgrade to low-E, double-pane windows to increase your thermal barrier during the winter, and reduce your solar heat gain in the summer.
- Switch to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) light bulbs. They’ll last up to 10 times as long as incandescents, and won’t produce enough heat to adversely impact your A/C cooling load.
- Update your older appliances. Inefficient refrigerators, dishwashers and laundry appliances can consume large amounts of energy. If you’re ready to replace yours, you’ll see significant energy savings by upgrading to Energy Star-rated models.
- Invest in energy-efficient HVAC equipment. Choose a furnace with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of at least 90 percent, and a central A/C unit with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of at least 14 and preferably 16 and above.
To learn more ways to reduce energy consumption in your Fairfax area home, please contact us at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited Heating & Air Conditioning.
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