Aside from home improvements and construction, there are small things consumers can do to make their homes more energy efficient. Common home problems can be tied to inefficiency when it comes to energy and comfort. These problems might include high energy bills as a result of air leaks, mold or mildew from water leaks, a damp basement, drafty rooms, dust from old air filters, moisture on windows from inefficient windows, ice dams from heat in the attic, peeling paint caused by humidity in the home, hot or cold rooms from poor insulation, and dry indoor air in winter caused by air leaks. All of these problems have Energy Star solutions to make your home more energy efficient.
In the ways of heating and cooling, home owners should take a look at their heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems since nearly half of energy used in the home goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners should check air filters each month, especially during winter and summer months. If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At the least, change the filter every three months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow, and make the system work harder, wasting energy. A yearly tune-up of the heating and cooling systems can improve efficiency. This check-up should include the inspection of thermostat settings, electrical connections, condensate drain, system controls, and any adjustments. Installing a programmable thermostat can save energy costs, too.