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Want a More Energy Efficient Home? Here’s What NOT to Do.

When it comes to improving the energy-efficiency of your home, there are plenty of myths out there. For example, maybe you’ve heard that closing vents in unused rooms saves energy, or that hand-washing dishes uses less energy than running a dishwasher. The reality is that both of these commonly-held beliefs are false—closed vents actually make your HVAC system work harder and today’s dishwashers are much more energy efficient and use less water than washing dishes by hand. Rather than relying on myths, why not maximize your home’s energy efficiency by using proven solutions? By learning the truth about the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, you can avoid these common homeowner mistakes.

#1: Don’t play games with your thermostat

One of the most common ways people try to save energy in their home is by playing with their thermostat settings. The problem is that most of these little tricks don’t actually help save energy. For example, many people believe that if you set your thermostat really high or really low, it will help your home warm up or cool down faster. Another popular misconception is that it’s more energy efficient to just leave your thermostat at the same temperature all the time, even when you’re not at home.

But these and most other thermostat tricks are not only less energy efficient, they also aren’t the best way to approach heating and cooling your home. Instead, HVAC pros recommend installing a programmable thermostat that keeps your home at a comfortable temperature when you’re there, and switches to an energy-saving mode when nobody’s home. If you’re ready to get serious about energy efficiency, contact local HVAC experts like those at Aire Serve, a Neighborly brand company. HVAC professionals can offer homeowners proven ways to increase the efficiency of a home’s HVAC system.

#2: Don’t ignore energy vampires

Do you have older appliances in your home or garage? Do you have small appliances, electronics, or chargers plugged in all over the house? While each one of these items alone may not consume much energy, together they can have a big impact on your home’s overall energy efficiency.

To find and reduce hidden energy consumption, unplug or turn off any device that isn’t currently in use. Then, consider calling an appliance expert like Mr. Appliance to help you evaluate and improve the energy efficiency of your appliances. An appliance expert can help you assess the condition and energy consumption of your appliances, so you’ll know exactly when it’s time to upgrade. Also, regular maintenance helps your appliances run better and stay more energy efficient. Replacing old appliances with new, Energy Star rated appliances is a great way to reduce unnecessary energy consumption and boost the efficiency of your home.

#3: Don’t skimp on home improvements

Maybe you’ve heard houses leak air mostly through the windows or gaps around doors, plumbing, and electrical outlets. While it’s true these spots can lead to air leaks, the places that leak the most air tend to be the walls. This is especially true if your home doesn’t have enough insulation in the walls or attic.

To make your home as energy efficient as possible, start by checking your insulation levels and rating. If you find little or no insulation, or if the insulation is getting old, it may be time to call in an HVAC company or a home remodeling professional for an expert opinion. They can help you figure out if you need more or better insulation and can help you with your upgrade.

It’s not a myth that to maintain a truly energy-efficient home, you must have good quality windows. No amount of insulation can compensate for old, drafty windows. If your home’s windows are single-pane or otherwise out of date, you can significantly boost your home’s energy efficiency by upgrading to newer, energy-efficient styles. To see the latest in energy-saving windows, consider giving the pros at Glass Doctor a call. They can help you figure out which type of window is right for your home.

Whether your home needs windows, insulation, plumbing or electrical repairs, appliance maintenance, or a new programmable thermostat, Neighborly companies will help you bypass the myths and get straight to the facts. At Neighborly, our family of brands can help with your whole home and our experts take the hassle out of home improvement. No matter what you need to make your home more energy efficient, you will find it here!

Some of the Neighborly home service brands mentioned in this post may not be available in your zip code. To find out which experts are nearby, search for services in your area.

Depending on current health and safety regulations in your area, some of the services mentioned in this post may not be available. Neighborly service providers will follow the latest health and safety guidelines provided by the local and state governments. Please check with your local Neighborly service provider for details at the time you need service(s).