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More and more homeowners are looking for ways to increase the energy efficiency of their home. When you work with good, local general contractors, you can do a number of things to use less energy around your home. Here are a few:
- Look into tankless water heaters. Heating the water in a home takes up about 30% of the energy usage in a home. If your home uses less than 41 gallons every day, you can lower the amount of energy your home uses by between 24% and 34% when compared to using a traditional water heater. Moreover, the tankless water heaters on the market today can last 20 years or more. They can pump out between two to five gallons of hot water each minute.
- Get the right insulation in your attic. When you work with general contractors in your area, you can greatly reduce the amount of hot or cool air you lose through your attic. Your home’s size will determine how much insulation your home will need.
- Put in solar panels on your roof. Before you begin working with a general contractor, you should have experts in this area do an assessment on your home. They can tell you if you can benefit from solar energy. You have to be in a part of the country that gets enough sun. If you can benefit from the addition of solar panels, you may also qualify for tax breaks and other incentives. Check with your accountant to see what deals you can get.
- Get the right storm door. These can be great, whether you have the best, most energy efficient doors. They can protect your home from the elements. The best storm doors out today can lower the amount of energy a home loses by about 50%. They also have a lifespan of between 25 and 50 years.
- Bring in someone to do an energy audit on your home. There are general contractors all over the country who can go to your home and rate how well your appliances and other systems are working. You should check with your utility company because they may pay for that for you. If they will not, you can expect to be charged by the hour or by the square footage.
- Upgrade your appliances. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends people opt for Energy Star rated appliances when replacing appliances such as television sets, washers, dishwashers, ovens, and stoves. Appliances that qualify for an Energy Star rating can save anywhere between 10% and 50% of the energy used by appliances who cannot meet the qualifications.
- Keep an eye on your HVAC system. You should have your system checked once each year. You can get your system tuned up at the same time. This will keep it operating at peak efficiency throughout the year. This can keep it from using the more energy that it needs and will keep your bills low. This will also keep it going longer.
- Change the way you use your thermostat. If you do not have a smart thermostat already, you should get one. These can be programmed to only put out heat and cold air when people are at the house. If you take this a step further and raise the temperature during the warmer months and lower it during the colder months, you can really cut down on how much energy you use.
- Get a laptop computer. Experts in home computing say that desktop computers only last about four years. If you are going to replace yours, making the switch to a laptop can greatly cut down the amount of energy you use. In fact, it has been estimated that the average laptop uses up to 80% less energy than a comparable desktop. Even better, the price for many laptops has come down in recent years so you can have a greener computing device without breaking the bank.
These are just a few of the things you can do to use less energy in and around your home. Some may cost something up front but over time, you will get that money back in savings from your utility company.