There are many different reasons to invest in energy efficient solutions for your home. Not only does improving your home’s energy efficiency reduce your carbon footprint, but it also can lower your monthly utility bills. Many people find that living in an energy efficient home is more comfortable, too.
If you’re ready to reap the rewards of energy conservation, invest in these five energy efficient solutions for your home:
The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the hours you are awake and at home in the winter. Set it slightly lower during the hours you are away from home or asleep.
In the summer, set the temperature to 78 degrees Fahrenheit for the hours you are awake and at home. Dial it up a few degrees during the hours you are away from home or asleep.
The closer the temperature on your thermostat is to the temperature outside, the more energy you can save. Following this schedule can reduce your home’s annual energy consumption by as much as 10%.
Turning off your electronic devices when they’re not in use is not enough to save energy. Why? These devices will continue to consume energy even when they’re turned off as long as they are still plugged into an electrical outlet. These devices, which are known as energy vampires, can waste a significant amount of energy.
To slay these energy vampires, plug them into a power strip. Once you’re no longer using the devices, turn them off and flip the switch on the power strip. Turning the power strip off will prevent the devices from continuing to consume energy.
Some power strips are designed to automatically turn off once they detect that the devices are no longer in use. For example, say a computer and printer are plugged into a power strip. If you turn both of these devices off, the power strip will detect that they are no longer in use and immediately cut off the power supply.
Investing in a power strip is an inexpensive way to instantly save energy and money on utility bills.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
About 90% of the energy consumed by standard light bulbs is wasted. To save energy, upgrade to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Both types of energy efficient bulbs cost more than traditional light bulbs. But because they save so much energy, these light bulbs actually save you money over time.
For example, a CFL uses about one-fourth of the energy of a traditional light bulb. CFLs also last ten times longer than traditional bulbs. As a result, a CFL will pay for itself within about nine months and continue to save you money every month after that.
You don’t need to replace every light bulb in your home to start saving energy. If you want to start small, focus on replacing the light bulbs in the five most frequently used light fixtures in your home.
ENERGY STAR® Appliances
The Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program was established to help consumers identify energy efficient appliances. Appliances with an ENERGY STAR® label consume less energy to perform the same tasks as standard models.
For example, an ENERGY STAR® dishwasher is 10% more energy efficient and 20% more water efficient than a standard dishwasher.
An ENERGY STAR® refrigerator requires very little energy to operate. In fact, an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator consumes less energy than a 60-watt light bulb.
If you need to replace an old or outdated appliance, consider upgrading to an ENERGY STAR® model to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Low Flow Faucets and Showerheads
To conserve water, replace the faucets and showerheads in your home with low flow models, which can cost as little as $10 to $20.
Look for a low flow showerhead that has a flow rate of fewer than 2.5 gallons per minute, or gpm. For your kitchen and bathrooms, choose low flow faucets with a flow rate of less than 1.0 gpm.
Switching to low flow faucets and showerheads can save the average household up to 2,700 gallons of water per year.
Lowering your home’s water consumption can also reduce the amount of energy that is used to heat water. Making the switch to low flow models could reduce your home’s energy consumption by more than 330 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. That’s enough energy to power an entire house for over 10 days!