Home Energy Efficiency Tips
Fuel costs are rising and as we become more eco-conscious and understand our impact on our environment, there’s a call to be more energy efficient. In the past, people have associated an eco-conscious lifestyle as something negative and worried it would have an undesirable effect on their way of life. However, it is possible to cut back on your energy consumption without sacrificing your lifestyle if you know where to start.
Heating and Cooling
Almost half of your home’s energy consumption goes to heating and cooling. There are many ways to cut back on your heating and cooling costs and lower that monthly bill. Seal up any gaps in your home’s attic and basement and around your windows and doors to avoid unwanted drafts getting into your home. Invest in a programmable thermostat which lets you monitor the temperature of your home while you’re away through your smartphone. If you have ceiling fans, maximize their features and change the direction of the way your fan spins depending on the time of year. In the summer, for example, setting your fan to spin counter clockwise will provide you with more cool air and changing the setting to clockwise in the winter can maximize your home’s heater while saving you money only our heating bills. Take advantage of landscaping around your home to not only make your home look nice but also maximize its energy usage. Plant trees around your home to keep you cool in the summer when their branches are full of leaves and warm in the winter when the branches are bare and sunlight can shine through into your home. You should also remember to have your furnace and air conditioner serviced regularly to keep it running at optimum efficiency.
Water and Electricity
Having an energy efficient home is about more than just monitoring your heating and cooling. Making smart choices with your water and electricity can save you hundreds of dollars a year and reduce your carbon footprint. Ditch those old incandescent light bulbs and make an investment in energy-efficient light bulbs, which not only last longer but use a lower output of energy which can help reduce your monthly electricity bills. Rather than have porch lights that turn on and off, use motion sensors to save energy. Installing a skylight in your home not only provides a boost to your home’s aesthetics but takes advantage of natural daylight and reduces the need for artificial lighting. You can save water by taking shorter showers and turning down the temperature on your hot water heater by a couple degrees. Opt to wash all your laundry in cold water and line dry your clothing whenever possible to cut back on the need for a dryer, which tends to be a vampire appliance.
If your home has old appliances, you may want to consider swapping them out for newer, more energy efficient ones. It may seem like an expensive investment up front but they pay for themselves over time through reduced energy bills. You may also qualify for tax credits for certain appliances and home energy upgrades. When shopping for new appliances, look for the Energy Star label, which ensures you’re getting an eco-friendly product.
Are your walls dark and dingy? A simple coat of light paint on your walls can make your room brighter and let in more light, reducing your need for artificial lighting. Buy local products as often as you can to reduce your carbon footprint. Locally sourced goods don’t waste as much energy in shipping costs and you can feel good knowing you’re supporting local businesses.
Being environmentally-conscious doesn’t take a lot of sacrifice and can actually save you money in the long run. If you try these tips around your home, not only will you be doing the environment some good, but you’ll also be putting money back into your own pocket.