Living a greener lifestyle is more important now than ever before. But many homeowners who want to make their homes more energy efficiency aren’t sure where to start. Here’s what you need to know to improve energy efficiency at home:
Why Do You Need to Improve Energy Efficiency?
There are a number of reasons why it’s beneficial to improve energy efficiency at home, including:
- Lower monthly utility bills. Reducing the amount of energy that is consumed in your home will also lower your monthly utility bills, so you can save money month after month.
- More comfortable home. Part of improving your energy efficiency is controlling the flow of air, heat, and moisture inside your home, which makes your home more comfortable to live in.
- Protect the planet. Consuming less energy at home reduces the amount of toxic greenhouse gases that are released into the environment.
- Increase your home’s resale value. Numerous studies have shown that energy-efficient homes have higher resale values than average homes.
There’s no doubt that going green can benefit homeowners, which is why it’s important to learn how to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
How Can You Improve Energy Efficiency At Home?
There are countless ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, including:
- Install A Programmable Thermostat
- Seal Air Leaks
- Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater
- Change Air Filters Regularly
- Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Install A Programmable Thermostat
Make sure you aren’t wasting energy on heating or cooling an empty house by installing a programmable thermostat. Program your programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature during the hours you’re at work every day.
This simple strategy will drastically reduce your energy usage. Plus, you won’t ever have to remember to turn your heating and cooling system off as you’re rushing out the door in the morning.
Seal Air Leaks
The small cracks and holes around your windows let hot air into your home in the summer and cold drafts into your home in the winter. This airflow can put more pressure on your heating and cooling system, forcing it to consume more energy in order to maintain a comfortable temperature.
To prevent this problem, use a caulking gun to apply caulk around your windows. This will seal the air leaks that are responsible for your high utility bills and reduce your annual energy usage by up to 20%.
Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater
Most manufacturers set water heaters at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but there’s no need to keep them at this temperature. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit will reduce your energy usage without affecting your home’s hot water supply.
Dialing down the temperature on your water heater can lead to significant savings—in fact, it’s estimated that this adjustment can reduce your energy usage by up to 22% annually.
Change Air Filters Regularly
If your air filters are dirty, the heating and cooling system will need to work harder to circulate air throughout your home. The harder the system works, the more energy it consumes.
Increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system—and the energy efficiency of your home—by changing your air filters regularly.
The air filters in your home should be changed at least once every three months. However, you may need to change them more often in the winter and summer. It’s best to check all air filters once a month to determine whether it’s time to replace them.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
About 90% of the energy that is consumed by your clothes washer is used to heat water. To improve your energy efficiency, wash your clothes in cold water instead.
These are some of the many ways that you can improve energy efficiency at home.
What Energy Efficient Improvements Are Tax Deductible?
You can make certain energy-efficient improvements without spending a dime, but others will cost you. If you plan on investing in energy-efficient improvements, it’s important to take advantage of energy tax credits.
The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is available to homeowners who have installed solar, wind, geothermal, or fuel-cell technology equipment in their homes. Examples of equipment that qualifies for this credit are:
- Solar panels
- Solar-powered water heaters used to provide hot water inside the home
- Wind turbines that generate a maximum of 100 kilowatts of electricity
- Geothermal heat pumps
- Fuel cells that use a renewable source to generate power
This tax credit is equal to 30% of the cost of equipment installation. There is no limit on the credit for solar, wind, or geothermal equipment, but there is a limit of $1,000 per kilowatt for fuel-cell technology equipment.
Take the First Step Towards Living A Greener Lifestyle
You won’t have to make major changes to your lifestyle or spend thousands of dollars in order to become more energy efficient. In fact, going green has never been easier! Follow these tips to improve your home’s energy efficiency so you can start reaping the rewards of living in an eco-friendly home.