How can we increase the energy efficiency of our home?

We live in Southern Georgia and we want to decrease our energy usage. What steps can we do (how to check if our insulation in the attic is sufficient, do we need to insulate under the house, determine if our HVAC is energy efficient) to save money and conserve energy?
What other avenues can we implement? We have a 16X30 salt water pool too.

  5 answers
  • Kathleen Kathleen on May 31, 2017
    Check with your local electric company. Often they will have a program that sends out experts to determine exactly what you're asking. I purchased a small "thermal" detection device that you can point to different areas to find cold spots (maybe in Georgia you look for HOT spots, but in Minnesota, we look for cold!). You can check to see if your windows and doors are leaking by using a candle around the edges on a windy day. Poorly sealed windows/doors will make the flame flicker. I would think insulating under the house would be a must. We are building a small cottage on a slab, and insulation was installed below and along the sides before they poured. Perhaps if you contact a local newspaper or TV station, they would want to do a story about this for the wider community. That way, any expert assistance would probably be FREE!
  • Lora Lora on May 31, 2017
    I agree, here in AZ we have numerous options for not a whole lot of money. A big thing for us is door seals. They make a big difference. Be sure you're running your pool at off-peak hours. Newer pumps are much more energy efficient as well. Shade screens on west facing windows help.
  • You are off to a great start! Windows and doors need to be checked for proper fit and checked to see if they are letting hot or cold air in or your a/c air or heat out. For your pool, any cover you use will cut down on the debris and dirt that lands in the pool and also helps to insulate to keep warm if using a pool heater. Check every light fixture in your home and use the most energy efficient light bulbs possible. Check faucets, spigots and toilets for leaks and drips. When replacing appliances, purchase the best energy saving model you can afford. Hope this helps!
  • Fla24149102 Fla24149102 on Jun 01, 2017
    Something small, but will save in the long run....put a quart mason jar in your toilet. It saves a quart of water every time you flush.
  • Rhonda S Rhonda S on Jun 01, 2017
    Pant for shade and ventilation - talk to your USDA County Ag agent about how to use the property around your house to direct breezes to the house and block sun in the summer. Consider putting in solar panels. They not only provide electricity at the peak hours of need, they shade the roof. IF it cools off in the evening, and your home is in a secure location where you can do so, open the windows in the evening and use box fans to draw cooler outdoor air in. This will not work if it remains hot and humid outside or if you are not in a secure location. But you can use box fans to move the air where people are, even when the air conditioner is running. You will be able to set your thermostat to a higher temperature and still be comfortable. (We have a box fan in each bedroom and in the living room where we spend evenings.) Consider a thermostat controlled attic fan that will draw cooler air in from eves and send hotter air out through the attic fan vent. Ours in the shop turns on when the temperature at the roof line reaches 120 degrees, but you can set it higher or lower, as suits your needs. A cooler attic will mean less radiant heat energy into your house through the ceiling. When you insulate your attic, make sure that the vent holes remain uncovered. This is especially important in a humid climate whether you use an attic fan or not.
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