Work Your Way Toward an Energy-Efficient Michigan Home With These Tips

Work Your Way Toward an Energy-Efficient Michigan Home With These TipsIf you want to make your life greener, a good place to start is with an energy-efficient home. Ultimately, you can aim to produce as much energy as you use, and achieve a net-zero dwelling. The following tips can help you create an energy-efficient home that has the added benefit of lower operating costs, too.

  • Seal your home against air leaks. Use foam sealant, caulking and weatherstripping to seal up holes and cracks in your siding and foundation, and close gaps around your windows and doors.

  • Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. Changing to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can save you up to 80 percent on energy use compared to regular incandescent bulbs.

  • Speak with a specialist about improving your home’s insulation, especially in the attic and basement.

  • Replace your older washer, refrigerator and dishwasher with Energy Star-qualified versions.

  • Have new low-E, low-U-value windows professionally installed, and reduce your heating and cooling expenses by up to 25 percent. If that’s not feasible, add storm windows over your existing single panes.

  • Ask your HVAC contractor to check the efficiency of your older heating system. If it has a low (under 80 percent) annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), have it retrofitted or replaced with one of today’s high-efficiency models.

  • Get in the habit of shutting off energy-consuming items when you’re done using them, including the computer, TV, appliances and lights.

  • Update your plumbing fixtures with low-flow faucets and showerheads that save on hot water. You can do this inexpensively by installing new aerators on your existing fixtures.

  • Talk to your HVAC professional about upgrading your existing cooling system to one that meets the new Energy Star standard.  It should have a seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) of 14 or more. If you can afford it, go as high as possible with the SEER level, since it directly co-relates to energy efficiency and operating costs.

  • Look for ways to produce your own energy, such as installing solar panels, or buy renewable energy from your power company.

For more tips on creating an energy-efficient home, contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We’ve been helping Grand Traverse County area residents with their home comfort needs for over 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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