Simple home repairs for efficient energy use

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Homeowners want to maintain their home and make it as energy efficient as possible.

These goals don’t have to be difficult or expensive to achieve. Here are ways to take good care of your home without breaking the budget:

Changing your HVAC filters

One of the easiest jobs you can do yourself is changing your the HVAC filters in your home. Your furnace and air conditioner system filters trap airborne allergens and dust so you breathe cleaner air.

These filters need changing every few months, while you’re using the furnace or air conditioning. Changing filters regularly also can lower utility bills, since dirty filters force HVAC systems to run harder and use more energy.

Sealants and Caulking

It there’s mold around your bathroom tub, a tube of caulk costs just a few dollars. On the other hand, replacing mold-infested bathroom tile and drywall can cost thousands of dollars.

To prevent water from reaching walls and floors where it can cause mold and rot, keep the seams around fixtures, tubs and showers tightly sealed with caulk. At Lowe’s Home Improvement stores, their Caulk Buying Guide explains the pros and cons of different types of caulk and how to apply it. Another use for sealants is filling those small cracks around windows and doors that suck your heat or cooled air into the great outdoors.

When inspecting your home’s interior to check for leaks, you can feel them and sometimes see them. Here’s how: As you do so, bring along a lighted candle – hold it up and down and around the front of windows and doors. The flame’s flicker will point you to air leaks.

Weatherstripping Installation

Installing weatherstripping is another one of those simple home repairs anyone can do. The strips that are made of foam or felt, seal air leaks around doors and windows.

You simply attach door sweeps to the lower edge of a door. Energy.gov’s weatherstripping guide tells which products to use for the job and how to apply them.

Light bulbs

This next suggestion is a real money saver – if you are annoyed by buzzing from compact fluorescent lights called CFLs you’ve got old bulbs in your home.

Most CFLs today, and all Energy Star-certified CFLs, use electronic ballasts, which do not buzz or hum. Upgrade from incandescent bulbs to more energy-efficient bulbs as your budget allows. Put them first in lights you use most.

Programmable thermostat

Finally, installing a programmable thermostat helps save money by allowing you to set and automatically maintain a comfortable temperature for when you’re home, plus, it keeps a more conservative temperature when you’re away or asleep.

Programmable thermostats can save you $100 or more annually in energy costs, according to Consumer Reports. For the best savings, choose a simple device you can install yourself.

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