New findings released by WalletHub showed that Tennessee ranks second to last in home energy efficiency in the continental United States, meaning homes waste more energy in Tennessee than in almost every other state.
When it comes to homes, energy efficiency focuses on how well a system will heat or cool your home, and how well the home will maintain that temperature.
Leading into the colder months in Tennessee, many will start turning on their heating systems, but it's possible they won't work as well as they could if they improved the efficiency of their home.
"We have a lot of nice homes in Nashville, but we haven't been focused on this issue," Erik Daugherty, owner of E3 Innovate, said.
E3 Innovate focuses on improving the efficiency of homes, as well as improving the air quality and performance of systems.
Those with E3 Innovate believe Tennessee's low cost of energy could be the reason that the state fell so low on the list.
“When it doesn't hit people in the wallet, they’re less likely to care or focus on energy efficiency," said Stefan Peter-Contesse with E3 Innovate.
Yet, just because you don't notice it hitting your wallet doesn't mean you should ignore efficiency in your home.
"In the winter time, you're heating air. You're spending money to heat this air. You're then pumping it through duct work. If 50% of it is lost before it actually makes it into the house, you're heating the attic, you're heating the outdoors, and that doesn't make any sense," said Daugherty.
By updating your home with new insulation and improving the air quality, you indirectly make your home more efficient. In many areas of Tennessee, including Nashville, energy services such as NES offer incentives through the eScore program for making your home more energy efficient.
One of the steps homeowners can take to improve the energy efficiency of their home is making sure there is no leakage of air in their vents (this can be evaluated by removing the vent and seeing if there are visible holes that lead to somewhere other than the room you're intending to heat). If there is air leakage, it can be caulked or fixed in another manner.
Another step is to check to make sure there are no openings around your doors, which can allow air to escape, and can allow bugs to get in.