Energy-efficiency isn’t a buzzword, it’s a lifestyle. Embracing energy-efficiency can help the planet, but it also can help homeowners reduce their energy waste and save money in the process. While creating a completely net-zero home might require more significant changes or a larger investment, homeowners don’t have to make major changes to be eco-friendly and reduce energy.
Homeowners can create an energy-efficient home by making these changes:
- Adjust the thermostat
- Install low-flow faucets and toilets
- Swap light bulbs to LED
- Plant a garden
- Use blackout curtains or blinds
- Change the air filter in the HVAC regularly
- Clean the refrigerator coils
- Be eco-smart about washing dishes and clothes
- Choose energy-efficient appliances (look for the ENERGY STAR label)
- Be mindful about insulation
- Shorten the shower time
- Don’t use the toilet as a trashcan
Change the Thermostat Before Making Any Other Change!
The thermostat could be the most important source of energy savings. Why? Heating and cooling dominates the home’s energy use. By simply adjusting the thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer, homeowners can help reduce how often their HVAC is in operation.
By simply adjusting the temperature, homeowners can reduce their energy consumption and possibly save money, too.
Install Low-Flow Faucets and Toilets
Don’t flush money or precious water down the drain. Conserve as much water as possible and install low-flow faucets and toilets. Homeowners will waste less water with every flush or with every turn of the tap.
However, homeowners with children might be cautious with low-flow toilets. Children (or adults) could clog these toilets easily, as some low flow options might not have as much flushing power. However, this could depend on the brand of toilet, too.
Choose LED Bulbs
LED light bulbs emit less heat and last much longer than incandescent or halogen. Swap out the old lightbulbs and choose LEDs to save energy and some money, too.
Plant a Garden
Plants help infuse the air with oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the environment. Grow vegetables or flowers that are suitable to the climate and enjoy the beauty or bounty of the harvest.
Use Blackout curtains or Blinds
Blackout curtains and blinds help keep out the sun’s bright rays. During hot summer days, this can help take some pressure off the HVAC. In addition, these window coverings also can help protect furniture and photos from fading. Buy blackout curtains or take a DIY approach.
Change the Air Filter in the HVAC Regularly
When the air filter in the HVAC system becomes dirty, it can cause the system to work less efficiently. Check these filters regularly and replace them as needed. Some might last three months, but others might need to be replaced monthly. In addition, home renovations might cause the filter to need to be replaced sooner and those with allergies also could need more frequent filter changes.
Clean the Refrigerator Coils
The refrigerator is on every day all day. To ensure the fridge works efficiently, make sure the coils stay clean. Bob Vila’s site has a tutorial on how to clean those coils to keep the fridge in good working order.
Be Eco-Smart about Washing Dishes and Clothes
To save money on water and electricity, wash clothes and dishes only when loads are full. In addition, wash clothes on the coolest setting that’s recommended. While some loads need to be washed on hot, others are fine to wash on a cooler setting.
Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances
Homeowners who need to replace an appliance should consider upgrading to an energy-efficient model. Look for the ENERGY STAR label on products; in addition, homeowners also can visit the ENERGY STAR website to search for energy-saving products. Some appliances might even qualify for rebates.
Be Mindful about Insulation
Poor insulation could make some rooms feel colder in the winter and hotter in the summer. One way homeowners can spot poor attic insulation is by looking at their roof after a snowfall. If the snow melts in areas quickly, this could be an indication that heat is escaping from the attic.
Homeowners that suspect that their home has insulation issues that’s causing energy drains should contact a pro for an evaluation.
Shorten the Shower Time
Showers also pour water down the drain. Homeowners can decrease their water waste by reducing the time they spend in the shower. In addition, they also could save money related to the costs associated with heating the water. Insider reported that dermatologists recommend a shower time between five and 15 minutes.
Don’t Use the Toilet as a Trashcan
The final and less obvious tip for homeowners to create an energy-efficiency home is to stop using the toilet as a trash can. Those extra flushes are a waste of water. Toss face tissues and other flushable items in the trash, but stop using the toilet as a trash receptacle.
While there are many other ways that homeowners can decrease the energy waste in their home, these easy tips can be a good starting point to embracing an eco lifestyle.