How can you save money while also making your home more energy-efficient? Many people don’t realize they’re likely wasting hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years by not assessing their home for a small list of things.
In Multnomah County, they passed a policy that states when you list a house for sale, you now have to show the energy score of that house. Whether it’s a hundred years old or brand new, it’s a requirement. It’s for informational purposes only but they are giving a score for the house depending on how efficient it is. A score of 1 would mean the house is not efficient at all, whether it’s the windows, insulation, etc. Few homes receive a 10. Effectively, it’s there to tell you how energy efficient the house is.
These are my tips to help assess your own home and save money:
1. Switch to LED bulbs. They save up to 90% on your electricity bills. Imagine the cost savings over time. This can make a significant difference.
2. Seal leaks. You may not know that the weather-stripping on your doors is failing, for example. Anything that allows a draft to come in is an issue.
3. Get a programmable thermostat. When you’re sleeping, make it cooler. When you’re away, schedule it so that the heat doesn’t cost you, and so on.
4. Service the furnace and change the filters. This is the No. 1 thing that happens every time I list a property; people don’t know that you’re supposed to change the filters once a month. I’m guilty of it myself—people forget about it. Set up eye-catching reminders like a note on your garage door or in your calendar. This is huge, and it can change the efficiency of how your furnace is working. If you are looking to update your furnace at some point, they have high-efficiency furnaces now that will cause less money to rush out the door.
5. Update your windows. If you have outdated windows, that is likely causing a lot more heat and air conditioning to be expelled. Windows that are single-paned or old are not efficient. It is costly to update windows but in the long term, it absolutely makes the home more efficient.
6. Update your insulation. Many times, older homes have a different code rating for insulation. They create amazing insulation for pipes, ceilings, and floors now.
7. Hire contractors to look at your house. Most people don’t know this exists: The Energy Trust of Oregon has contractors you can hire to look at everything in your home. They will give you a comprehensive report with suggestions for how to increase energy, information on cost-saving programs, and so on.
I deeply endorse these tips. People I know that have used them have remarkably changed the efficiency of their homes by altering a few simple things or even a larger thing that saved them heaps of money.
If you have any questions on this topic, you can reach out to us by phone or email. We’ll provide the information for how to contact the Energy Trust of Oregon and get that scheduled. Don’t hesitate to connect with us. We would love to help you!