You may have survived New Jersey’s winter, but did your bank account? If you’re still feeling the sticker shock after so many extra-large energy bills this past winter, you may be thinking about ways to cut costs in the future. You’re not alone.
Dialing up energy efficiency is a priority for many modern homeowners—not only because we want to save money but because we’d all like to be more earth-friendly. When considering ways to save energy costs, you may be thinking first of expensive and time-consuming solutions, like having all the windows and doors in your home replaced with ENERGY STAR products or adding insulation throughout.
However, there are some easier and less expensive ways to make a noticeable dent in your electricity bill and do your part for Mother Nature—chief among them, installing an airtight top-sealing damper atop your chimney and having your dryer duct and air ducts cleaned. Read on for more about how these services work and to learn easy ways to save on energy costs without a professional’s help.
5 Things You Can Do to Save on Energy Costs
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, here are five things homeowners can do to improve energy efficiency at home.
- Seal and insulate. First locate the biggest air leaks in your home. Common culprits include kneewalls, attic hatches, wiring holes, plumbing vents, open soffits, recessed lights, furnace flues, basement rim joists, and windows and doors. Though you may need a contractor to correct some of these leaks, you may be able to use DIY weatherstripping, foam, caulk, and insulation with great success.
- Switch to more efficient bulbs. Lighting energy can be reduced by as much as 75% when you install compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
- Heat and cool portions of your home. If there’s an area of your home that you’re not in often do not heat or cool it while it’s not in use. To do this efficiently, close vents and air registers in the rooms you don’t use. Be careful during the winter, however, to maintain heat enough in rooms so that adjacent pipes don’t freeze.
- Take advantage of fresh air. Letting fresh air flow into your house is not only a good way to cut energy expenses but to improve your indoor air quality. To do so, open windows, use ceiling fans, window fans, or whole house fans.
- Consider a wood stove. While fireplaces aren’t very energy efficient, wood stoves certainly are. If you’re looking for alternate heat sources, you may want to supplement the heat in your home with a wood stove, which can be sized to heat a room or an entire home.
You’ll find many more great energy efficiency suggestions on the EPA website.
Look at a Chimney Damper, Dryer Duct, and Air Duct Cleaning for Energy Savings
There are many ways that Mason’s Chimney Service helps our customers make their homes more energy efficient. These are the three that tend to surprise our customers because they’re not often included on energy efficiency tip lists; all of these options are affordable and can make a very noticeable difference in the efficiency of your appliances.
1. Install a Top-Sealing Damper. Many older fireplaces are still equipped with their original throat dampers, which are designed to seal off the chimney when not in use but are notoriously leaky. Modern dampers are attached to the very top of the chimney— and are thus known as top-sealing dampers. These dampers are far more energy efficient and can save you hundreds of dollars each year by creating an airtight seal that keeps conditioned air inside your home. To ensure that it works properly, only a certified chimney technician should be hired to install a chimney damper.
2. Clean Your Dryer Ducts. Everyone knows to clean out their dryer vent, but did you know how important it is to also clean out your dryer duct, which runs from your dryer to the outside of your home, where it vents your dryer’s exhaust? Having a dryer duct professionally cleaned, which involves the use of a high-powered vacuum, will reduce the probability of a dryer fire and also improve the efficiency of your clothes dryer so that your clothes will dry more quickly. This is especially important if your dryer is centrally located in your home, as your dryer duct must travel a greater distance to vent and is more likely to get clogged by dust and lint boulders.
3. Clean Your Air Ducts. Having your air ducts cleaned has numerous advantages. The fact that a professional cleaning will help your entire HVAC system to run more effectively is just one. This service, which works by using a series of special tools, vacuums, and antimicrobial sprays, may also improve your air quality and relieve allergy symptoms, as well as other respiratory ailments.
Contact Mason’s Chimney Service and Certified Air Duct Cleaning today to schedule an appointment to discuss your home’s energy efficiency.