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If your home has not been built with a particular focus on energy efficiency, adding electricity to your bills will likely lower your energy bills. Much of the existing housing stock has not been insulated to today’s levels. Older homes may consume more energy than newer ones, leading to higher heating and energy bills.
Conduct an Energy Audit
Hire an audit firm to conduct an energy audit in your home. Many firms offer a free energy audit program to ensure efficient energy consumption. Call them and find out in which areas you can reduce your energy demand.
Maintaining the main equipment, especially the oven and central air-conditioning system, can bring significant savings. If you check the lines and optimise the device, it can have a big impact on your electricity bill. In addition, at least part of the costs will often be reimbursed by the energy supplier after sending the receipt. Washing machines and other appliances in the home can be expensive.
Where Can You Add Insulation?
If you are in places where insulation materials already exist, such as the attic, you can save energy by adding more insulation material. You can save even more energy by installing insulation in places in your home that have never been insulated. After determining how much you have, you can use appropriate tools to find out how much you should add. This will help you compare future savings on electricity bills with current insulation assembly costs. The amount of insulation needed depends on the temperature and fuel (gas, oil, and electricity); it can also depend on whether you have an air-conditioning system or not.
Know How Much insulation You Have
Look in the Attic
Start with the attic because it is usually the easiest place to add insulation.
Look at Your Walls
It is difficult to insulate existing walls unless you are planning to add a new siding to your home or to complete unfinished rooms. In this case, you need to know if the external walls are already insulated or not. One way is to use a wall outlet, but you need to turn off the wall outlet first. Then, remove the cover and shine the flashlight in the gap around the drain.
You should be able to see if there is insulation in the wall or not. Also, check the separate sockets on the first and second floors; don’t forget to look in old and new parts of the house because wall insulation does not necessarily mean that it is everywhere in the house. An alternative to checking the sockets is to remove and reinstall a small part of the external panel.
Look Under Your Floors
Look at the bottom of the floor above an unheated room, such as a garage, basement, or creeper. You can measure the thickness of the insulation that you find there. This is most likely a fiberglass mat. Multiply the thickness in inches by 3.2 to get the R value (or the R value may appear on the product label). If the insulation is a foam sheet or sprayed foam, use the visible information on the label. If there is no information available, you can multiply the thickness in inches by 5 to estimate the R value.
Look at Your Pipes
If water pipes run through unheated or uncooled rooms in the house (e.g. attic or crossroads), the pipes should be insulated.
Air Tightness: an Important Factor for Energy Reduction
Tightness is important because the draughts are uncomfortable and air leaks carry both moisture and energy in a direction that you usually don’t want. For example, air leaks can bring hot, humid outdoor air into your home in the summer; air leaks can also bring warm, humid air from the bathroom to the attic in the winter season. Most homeowners are aware that air comes out through small holes in doors, window frames, and through chimneys. Air also enters the living space from other unheated parts of the house, such as attics, basements, or crawl spaces.
The air flows through:
- Installation and electrical sleeves.
- Niches on the floor of ready-made attics that connect to non-air-conditioned attics.
- Gaps around the skylights and along the stairs.
- Gaps behind recessed cabinets and false ceilings.
- Gaps around sockets, switch boxes, and built-in lights
- Holes or cracks where two walls meet, where the wall touches the ceiling, or near frames.
Follow Energy-Saving Practices
Depending on the energy supplier you pay for, peak daytime hours are usually too long. Try to use excess energy only during low or off-peak periods. Use this model to see how energy consumption can be reduced in your home.