This post was sponsored through our partnership with Trane. All thoughts are my own.
Since becoming a homeowner, almost 6 years ago, I’ve learned a lot about making our home efficient. We moved into a home that wasn’t very efficient and many things needed to be replaced/upgraded. Of course you don’t realize these things until after you have lived there.
We’ve made a lot of small changes around the home; they have made a big difference in my family’s comfort level and the cost of our gas and electric bills.
The first thing we did after moving in was replace all windows in our home. The summer time was brutal in our living room; every ounce of the sun’s rays poured into our house and it was hot. We also replaced our garage doors with insulted steel doors, replaced our AC/Furnace and installed ceiling fans into every room of our house.
I thought we were covered..
We recently took part in a home energy efficiency analysis, conducted by Trane Comfort Specialists – Apex Heating & Air Conditioning, and welcomed them into our home to tell us what we were doing right, wrong and what changes we could make to improve our home’s efficiency. I’ve never had this done before; it was quite an experience to learn so much about our home!
Keep reading for tips that were shared with us on how to make your home more efficient.
Ceiling Fans & Winter Settings
The layout of our house is a split-level, upstairs and basement. The two main rooms up stairs, living room and kitchen, are both featured with tall vaulted ceilings. While vaulted ceilings make our rooms feel larger, they are horrible for maintaining temperature.
The pros at Apex Heating & Air Conditioning told us, on vaulted ceilings like ours, you should never use the winter settings on your ceiling fans. This is the first thing we were doing wrong. Flat ceilings in your home should use the winter settings and vaulted ceilings should remain on the summer setting at the lowest speed.
Insulation in the Fireplace?
We have a double-sided fireplace that is never used in our home. We have no plans to use the fireplace. In the wintertime, the damper inside of your fireplace can leak cold air into your home so we were told to place fiberglass insulation up into the chimney. No one will ever see it and it will help prevent drafts into your home. *
Note!! Only do this if you have a fireplace that isn’t being used, this is not recommended for fireplaces that are used during the winter as the insulation will catch fire!
Other great tips offered from the pros
- Windows – Use curtains on the windows located on the west side of your home and tint them to provide extra protection from the sun’s heat
- Door Seals – Check the gaskets around your doors and make sure there are no gaps. If you see peaks of daylight coming in, then it’s probably time to replace them.
- Attic Fans – They are wonderful in the spring and Fall months, but in the Winter they can bring a draft into your home. Cover attic fans with plastic during the winter months to prevent cold air from coming in.
- Programmable Thermostats – If you are dropping the temperature in your home while away, make sure you are decreasing the temperature at least 4 degrees in the Summer time for a minimum of 3 hours. In the wintertime, there should be a 15-degree difference for a minimum of 3 hours. Anything less than that, then you are losing money.
- Furnace Filters – Make sure you are using furnace filters with pleats in them, not flat. They help to move the air better through your home.
Like I told you above, we recently replaced our AC/Furnace unit and thought we were doing good! There were a few things that we missed.
Your AC and Furnace should be maintenance every year, at a minimum of every other year. Since being injured this summer, I haven’t gotten out back much. Our beds were over grown with weeds and blocking flow on our AC unit. Clear away debris from your units!
Also, we thought our AC unit was looking pretty good, but the back of the unit said another story. Since we have not done maintenance on our unit, the back of our AC was covered in dirt that wasn’t cleaned out by the rain. We lost 1/3 ton of our efficiency during the summer months.
I have a phone call going into Apex Heating & Air Conditioning on Monday to change this!
Hopefully, some of these tips help you out like they did for us.
Kansas City St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway!
To see one of Trane’s connected control, energy-efficient products in-use, visit the Kansas City St. Jude Dream Home. Trane donated the unit as part of its national partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.
The Kansas City St. Jude Dream Home is one of almost 30 custom-built homes that will be given away throughout the year through local raffle drawings or auctioned off to help support the hospital’s mission of finding cures and saving lives of kids battling cancer and other deadly diseases. Unlike any other hospital, the majority of funding for St. Jude comes from individual contributions through programs like the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.
Get your raffle ticket for a chance to win a house with an estimated value of $525,000 or another great prize while helping St. Jude save the lives of children.
The winner will be drawn on Sunday, October 12, 2014, on 41 Action News KSHB-TV at 10 p.m. Click here for more details on the Kansas City St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway
Giveaway Ended – Winner has been contacted
Giveaway Terms & Conditions: No purchase is required to enter or win. This giveaway is open only to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including the District of Columbia), who are 18 years of age or older. Giveaway ends on October 8th, 2014. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to claim prize before a new winner is drawn.