Green homes are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s not hard to see why. Energy efficient homes are more comfortable to live in, better for the environment, and more affordable, too. Transform your house into a green home by completing one or all of these five energy efficient projects:
Install A Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to preset temperatures so you can reduce energy usage and save money on your utility bills. How does it work? Let’s say nobody’s home on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Adjust the settings on your thermostat so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling a home that is empty. Then, program the thermostat to kick back into gear right as you get off work so your home is a comfortable temperature when you arrive.
By using a programmable thermostat in this manner, it’s possible to save as much as 10% on your heating and cooling bill every year!
Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
One of the easiest energy efficient projects is replacing traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. You don’t have to replace every bulb in your home in order to make a difference. Instead, target the five lights that you use the most. By replacing the bulbs in these five lights, you can save around $75 per year.
Seal Air Leaks
Your heating and cooling system uses a lot of energy to adjust the temperature in your home, so don’t let this air escape through cracks around windows. If air escapes, the heating and cooling system will have to work even harder and consume more energy to keep your home comfortable.
Applying caulk around the windows is the best way to seal these leaks. Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle and apply caulk in one continuous stream until you reach the other side of the window. Apply an ample amount of caulk, but if it starts to ooze out of the cracks, gently push it back in with a putty knife. Once the caulk is dry, it will prevent air from leaking through these cracks.
Insulate the Water Heater
New water heaters are already insulated, but if your water heater is old, insulating it can improve your home’s energy efficiency. All you will need to complete this project is:
- Tape measure
- Pen or marker
- Insulating blanket kit from a local hardware store
Turn the water heater off and wrap the blanket around it. Tape the blanket in place using electrical tape and then step back to inspect your work. Use the marker to mark areas on the blanket that need to be cut so you can still access the heater’s controls. Then, follow the instructions on your kit to permanently tape it in place. The insulation kit should cost around $20, but this quick and easy project can help you save between 7-16% on annual water heating costs.
Install Ceiling Fans
Install a few ceiling fans in your home so you don’t have to rely solely on your air conditioner to keep you cool. Ceiling fans use far less energy than an air conditioning unit, which is why it’s best to turn on a fan instead of lowering the temperature on your A/C. You don’t need a fan in every room in your home—pick the rooms that you spend the most time in so you get as much use out of your ceiling fans as possible.
The best part? Ceiling fans actually work to reduce your cooling and heating bills year round. When reversing the direction of your ceiling fan in the winter, you can actually pull cool air up and push warm air down to the floor.
These five quick and easy energy efficient projects will make you more comfortable, lower your monthly utility bills, and reduce your carbon footprint! For more ideas, check out HomeSelfe’s Quick Fixes Home Energy Checklist.