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5 Simple Energy Saving Projects in 1 Weekend

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Cold Winter Air

A quick look at the calendar and you’re reminded that fall is here and cooler temperatures are approaching. Therefore, now is the time to do those small, but noticeable things that can make your home ready to face the upcoming cooler weather. At Marcus Lumber, we like to remind customers that making your home more energy efficient doesn’t need to be expensive nor complicated. In fact, many projects are simple things any homeowner can do and most can be done in just one weekend. Check out list and you might be pleasantly surprised just how savvy you are in making your home more energy efficient.
1. Caulk around any exterior protrusions such as hose spigots, light fixtures, pipes, and dryer vents. Also check existing caulking around your doors and windows and replace where necessary. According to the Air Barrier Association of America a typical 2,500 square foot home has over ½ mile of cracks and crevices. Identifying and eliminating these is a first step in preventing energy loss in your home.
2.  Weather-Strip: Make sure your current weather-strip around your doors and windows is in place and firmly secure. You may need to replace damaged or broken weather-strip. In other cases you may need to add new weather-stripping.  Many exterior door manufacturers use the same weather-strip so finding a replacement is relatively easily. Weather-stripping around windows, however, is more specific to each different manufacturer.  If you need to add additional weather-stripping you’ll find many options available like self-adhesive foam options or nylon brush style.
3. Replace Your Furnace Filter. When your furnace filter is dirty your furnace can’t run at its optimal energy efficiency.  A clogged filter means more energy is needed to run your furnace. Not to mention the number one cause of HVAC equipment breakdowns is a dirty filter. It is perhaps one of the simplest energy saving tips with the greatest return on your investment. Also look for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) rating on each filter; the higher rating, the higher the efficiency. If you don’t feel comfortable checking your filter, or just need a reminder, schedule automatic checks with a professional preventative maintenance program such as Marcus Lumber’s Top Notch Service Program.
4. Add a Storm Door. While it’s a little more of an investment than a furnace filter, it too can make a noticeable difference in your homes energy efficiency.  Many new features in storm doors include certain models with LOW-E coated glass which helps decreases heat transfer. Additionally, look for storm doors with overlapping frames and adjustable expanders to further increase your energy efficiency.
5. Install a Programmable Thermostat.  While a bit more technical, installing a programmable thermostat can save you as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills according to the Department of Energy.  A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically schedule the times you turn on your furnace. As a result, the equipment doesn’t operate as much when you are asleep or not at home saving you energy and money.