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5 Signs Your Home Is Energetically Inefficient

Saving energy is one of the easiest ways you can “make” some extra cash and help the environment at the same time. When you make your home energetically efficient, your utility expenses are reduced, and you can use those funds somewhere else.

But how do you know if your home needs a little extra help in the first place?

These 5 features are warnings signs that your house is costing you money.

Warning Signs That You’re Wasting Energy

Maybe your power bill is the same as it’s always been. However, a higher utility bill isn’t the only sign of an energy inefficiency problem (although it’s definitely the most obvious one).

In addition to an unusually high electric bill, watch for these signs telling you that you need to make your home’s energy use more efficient:

1. Different temperatures in each room. Your HVAC system doesn’t know the difference between rooms (unless you have a smart thermostat). So the goal of the unit is to cool or warm your entire house to the same temperature.

If you notice that one or two rooms tend to be cooler or warmer than the others, there’s a problem. Certain rooms retain the energy, and others aren’t. This may be something easy that you can fix, like a window or door that needs to be sealed.

When you check the edges, and you see the frames are warped or molding, it’s time for a door or window replacement.

2. Read your thermostat. The varying temperatures in each room aren’t always obvious, especially if you’re used to how the air feels.

An easy way to monitor for problems is to read the thermostat when the unit shuts off, then when it turns on again. If the numbers don’t match, there’s an efficiency issue, and your system is working too hard.

3. Dirty walls by the vents. The way an HVAC unit is supposed to work is that it’s tightly sealed, not letting out or taking in dust. That’s what the filter is for.

If dust is piling up near the vent, your unit isn’t sealed tightly enough. The ducts could be leaking energy.

4. You’re leaving things plugged into the outlets. There’s a term in the world of electricity called “phantom energy.” It doesn’t mean your house has poltergeists playing with your electric bill. It just means that all those electronic devices you leave plugged in are sucking up electricity.

Yes, even if the item is off, as long as it’s in the outlet, it’s drawing energy. Using electricity because it’s helping you to be productive is one thing. Wasting it entirely while you’re not home or you’re sleeping is inefficient.

5. Moisture issues. Every room has a natural level of humidity. If there’s too much or too little, it’ll show up in small ways. You might hear your AC turning on and off a lot more often than usual. There could be moisture and mold around the middle frames, or people in your family are suddenly having sinus and allergy issues.

If your thermostat doesn’t already measure humidity, you can buy an inexpensive device that does. A humidifier or dehumidifier helps with individual rooms, or you can invest in one that takes care of your whole house. This small fix will keep your HVAC system from working overtime.

These 5 tips are quick and simple ways to make your home energy efficient starting today. Use one or all, and you’ll be amazed how quickly your power bill goes down!

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