There are two major reasons why every homeowner should consider improving the energy efficiency of their home. Living in an energy efficient home will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but it will also drastically lower your monthly utility bills.
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to go green at home. There are a number of changes you can make around your home to protect the planet—and your wallet. Here’s how to make your home energy efficient:
Conduct A Home Energy Audit
If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency, it’s best to conduct a home energy audit using the HomeSelfe app. Performing an audit will help you understand how you currently use energy and what changes you can make to increase your home’s energy efficiency.
It only takes about five minutes to conduct an audit using the HomeSelfe app. After the audit is complete, the app will provide a list of personalized recommendations that will make your home more energy efficient. This means you won’t need to figure out what changes need to be made around your home—the app will do all of the work for you.
Install A Programmable Thermostat
Investing in an inexpensive programmable thermostat can lead to significant savings. Once the thermostat is installed, adjust the settings to create custom heating and cooling schedules that fit your lifestyle.
For example, adjust the settings so the heating and cooling system automatically turns off when you leave for work every morning and turns back on right before you arrive home in the evening. This way, you won’t have to remember to turn off your heating and cooling system as you’re rushing out the door every morning.
This simple change can drastically reduce your energy consumption. In fact, it’s estimated that adjusting the temperature by 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 hours per day can reduce your annual heating and cooling costs by up to 10%.
Learn How to Use Window Treatments
Use the curtains, drapes, or blinds on your windows to save energy at home. In the winter, keep your window treatments open during the day. This will allow the sun to warm up the inside of your home so you won’t need to rely as heavily on your heater. At night, close the window treatments to prevent warm air from escaping.
In the spring and summer, close the window treatments during the day to stay cool. If too much heat from the sun enters your home, your air conditioner will need to consume even more energy to keep you cool.
You should also consider applying a window film to the outside of your windows. This type of film is designed to block the sun’s heat and prevent it from entering your home.
Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Replace traditional light bulbs with energy efficient halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). All three of these energy efficient bulbs use between 25 to 80% less energy than traditional light bulbs. Plus, they last up to 25 times as long as traditional bulbs.
You don’t need to replace every light bulb in your home to save energy. If you want to smart small, replace the bulbs in the five most frequently used light fixtures in your home. Upgrading the light bulbs in these five fixtures can save you about $75 per year.
Replace Old Appliances
If your kitchen or laundry room appliances are old, it may be wise to invest in energy efficient replacements. Look for appliances with the bright yellow ENERGY STAR® label, which is used to help consumers identify the most energy efficient appliances.
Buying new appliances is a big financial commitment, but over time, these appliances will pay for themselves. For example, it’s estimated that purchasing an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator will save you more than $200 over the course of the appliance’s lifetime. This appliance won’t just pay for itself over time, but it will actually save you money.
Insulate the Water Heater
Adding insulation to your water heater is an inexpensive and easy way to make your home more energy efficient. The materials only cost about $30, but completing this project can reduce your annual energy bill by up to 16%.
To insulate your water heater, purchase a water heater insulation blanket kit from a home improvement store. Then, follow the instructions to secure the blanket around your water heater. You don’t need to make all of these changes in order to make a difference. Even if you only follow one or two of these tips, you will still be able to experience the benefits of living in an energy efficient home.