Is Your Home Losing Energy and Money?

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Are you looking for ways to save more money on your utility bills each month? Take a few steps to ensure that you are not wasting money on your utility bills.
 
Consider hiring a professional to conduct an energy audit on your home to identify areas where you may be wasting energy. Even if you don’t hire a professional, there are things that you can do yourself that can have a big impact:
 
1.     A programmable thermostat is a great please to start—you can program it to lower the temperature at nights or during the day when you are not at home.
 
2.     A dirty air filter in your furnace restricts the airflow and makes your furnace have to work harder which in the long run, can reduce its useful life—it is recommended that you replace your filter every three months
 
3.     Sealing your heating ducts, adding insulation to your top floor and opening your drapes when you have direct sunlight can also make a big difference
 
What are some characteristics of a green home?
The U.S. Green Building Council offers a Green Home Checklist that can help you identify whether the home your home is a green home. The Council says that this checklist can help you ensure that you have a healthier, high-performance home that costs less to operate and has fewer environmental impacts than a traditional home that doesn't have these "green" elements.
 
Some of the key items on the Green Home Checklist include:
·       Energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and water-heating systems
·       ENERGY STAR® ratings on appliances, windows and exterior doors
·       Sunshades on the southern and western facades to block hot Summer sun
·       Windows, clerestories, skylights and other strategies that bring daylight to the home's interior
·       Water-conserving irrigation systems and water-efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures
 
To learn more about home energy audits and ways to make your home more efficient, visit Energy.gov.