1. Change the furnace filters often
This can improve the energy efficiency of your air systems by as much as 10 percent. Just clean the air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed. Change forced air system monthly or try using washable filters. This will also dramatically improve your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
2. Use a space heater
Instead of heating the entire house or apartment, just use a space heater to only warm up the air in the room being used. The savings of doing this as an ongoing method of heating could be staggering.
3. Add insulation to other areas as well
Reduce energy bills while maintaining comfort. Adding to the insulation in your crawl space, between floor joists and against basement walls is a great way to stop the transfer of heat and cold through your house. Differences of Colorado air temperatures can travel through solid brick in about 7 hours time. And a standard drywall and siding wood framed house in about 2. The more trapped air and small air pockets you have in your in Denver insulation, the harder it is temperatures to intrude.
4. Sun Shine can help out
Let the sun in through windows on the south and west sides of your house. And if you have single-pane windows, consider upgrading them the windows to double-pane which further have a coating on the glass, this helps reflect heat back into the room.
5. Add Insulation behind your homes siding
Installing contoured foam backing behind vinyl siding increases your homes R-value. This is again adding small air pockets between the inside and outside air. Everything you do helps.
6. Add a layer of insulation to your attic
From my experience the majority of homes built before 1995 are under-insulated. This means more heat is escaping through your ceiling, into the attic and being constantly replaced burning a hole in your pocket. Two feet deep is a good amount of insulation. You can mix blown in insulation with rolls, no problem. But you need them to be around two feet thick either way you stack it!
7. Get or use a humidifier
If you increase your homes humidity in winter, the additional moisture will increase the “heat index” of your inside air, making 69°F feel more like 78°F. If your furnace doesn't’ have a built-in humidifier, place a portable one in frequented rooms. This is one I do from time to time and it truly works. I've had the humidity too high on several occasions where even with the furnace off almost all day (and about 28°F outside) I was still very warm.
8. Seal up the windows
If you have single-pane windows in your Colorado home, you can block the flow of cold air by installing a clear plastic film across the inside of your windows and frames. Use a blow dryer to make a trapped pocket of air, this acts as an effective insulator and can reduce heat loss through the window by up to 50 percent.
9. Upgrade to energy-efficient windows
Modern windows and doors are more then just aesthetically appealing. Most newer doors and windows are designed & insulated to reduce the transfer air between them. This can reduce over-all fuel costs by up to 15%.
10. Clean your central heating equipment
Check out your furnace and duct work before the start of the cooler months. The cleaner and more efficient everything is, the more money you will save. In fact, a properly adjusted furnace can help you save up to 10% in fuel consumption.
11. Plug all drafts
Your houses outside structure is the first line of defense against outside air, so it’s important to seal around all seams, cracks and openings. Use weather-striping around doors and windows and where siding or bricks meet. You can also reduce those cool Colorado drafts from the inside your home by further sealing around door frames and windows. Be sure to pay close attention to junction box holes, behind baseboards on the floor and plumbing.
12. Close vents in un-used rooms
Some of you already do this but if not, closing the vents to just one spare room can show a difference in your heating bill.
13. Water Heater insulation
If your water heater isn't insulated you're losing heat into the surrounding area making your water heater work more just to keep the water hot, even if your not using it. If there is enough room around your unit, you can simply wrap it with insulation and then wrap that with twine or duct tape.
14. Insulate hot-water-pipes
Most home builders never insulate the copper pipes that carry your hot water. Do you need to run your faucet for while until the water becomes warm? If so, you defiantly would benefit from this easy fix. You can find poly-foam tubes at Home Depot or Lowes, even Wal-Mart too, that snaps right over your copper and keeps it insulated.
15. Seal the air ducts
If your in a house and you have an attic or unfinished basement chances are, you’re heating them and not meaning to. Even small cracks and gaps in your air ducts are enough to effect the whole system. You can simply use duct tape to repair and seal holes or sections that have separated (as duct tape was actually intended for).
SOME GREAT TIPS ON SAVING ENERGY
Most people do not have the skills, tools or experience to do all the work a house can require to upgrade or repair it for a flip or sale. This means you will probably be getting as many estimates as possible for different areas of work. Many times a bathroom and kitchen will be upgraded if not totally remodeled. The roof is often the next thing in a flip because a "flip house" is usually one in need of some attention, which is the entire point. To upgrade and repair it and re-sell it as quickly as possible for a large profit. Below you will find some tips on what to look out for. These simple things could literally save you thousands of dollars or from making a huge mistake all together. If you can do all the work your self, then go looking for a house. If your going to need to hire help or sub-contract many of the projects out, then you need to do a lot of homework and consideration before getting emotionally attached to a house you find.
Check and re-check the roof
Bring a ladder or have your Colorado General Contractor meet with you at a house you are considering to buy. Look around the roof at the edges and see how many layers of roofing there are. Don't stop there, make sure to peal or fold back up away from the edge at least a foot checking for layers. Some people will purposely remove the old layers from around the edges of a roof so that upon a simple inspection the roof looks to have no old layers underneath. If you see some layers, check with the county (Douglas County, Arapahoe or Denver County etc) and see what is the maximum allowed. After this, go into the attic and check the sheathing or decking boards of the roof. Push up on them in between the rafters and see to it that they are solid, rigid and free of mold, stains and that they are not falling apart in anyway shape or form. Even a small ranch style home can set you back Seven thousand dollars if you need to replace the roof and roofing boards.
Take a closer look at the bathroom
If the bathroom is questionalbe, has old tile or has plans on being remodeled check for mold and rot everywhere you possible can. If you budget to only demo and replace some tile make sure thats all that is going to be needed. You may in fact find out that you need to structually replace framing, walls, and maybe even floors before you can re-tile. So, before you make an offer on a house, check out the tiles, mainly the ones aorund the shower or bath. See if any of them are lose or falling off. If you can get a tile up, push or pry at the wood behind the tile and see if its solid. If its brittle or crumbles at all, you should budget for re-building the entire area.
Look at the land all around the house
If you can be on site when its raining or snow is melting, this will give you a big advantage of
looking at weather or not the house has correct negative drainage. As in most cases you will not have that opportunity, so pay very close attention to the land. Bring a large long level and place it all around the ground up to the house and make sure water will flow away from the foundation. If you want to take it a step further set up some stakes and attach some string or twin on each end (same distance from the ground). Make sure to pull tight, and then hold a level up to the string. There are special inexpensive kits you can buy as well to do this. Even if this little exercise took you say 30 minutes to do, it would be well worth saving you the nightmare of buying a house that floods or has foundation and major landscape problems. In most cases you can eye-ball the slope of the land. But if there is even a doubt in your mind, then ask as many questions as you can and do the aforementioned.
Lasltey, don't risk it, hire 303 to help you!
Make sure to soundproof all new construction, additions or remodels. You have one chance to make significant changes that will effect comfort for years to come. Click anywhere here to learn more about soundproofing.
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