If you're looking for new ways to save money and the environment, having an energy-efficient home is a great place to start.
Thankfully, there are things that every homeowner can do to improve the efficiency of their property whether it's a new build or an older home.
Read on for a list of 9 tips that will help you improve the energy efficiency of your home for a cleaner, greener world and lower costs.
1. Say Hello to LEDsOne of the easiest ways to have a more energy-efficient home is to swap your old light bulbs for LED. These bulbs have an impressive lifespan that can last as long as 25 years per bulb.
Choosing to use LED instead of incandescent or fluorescent lighting can also save you money. These highly efficient light bulbs use approximately 75-percent less energy than traditional bulbs. If you swap every light for LED, you'll see a noticeable difference in your energy bill while helping the planet at the same time.
2. Take Care of Your HVACYour heating and cooling system uses quite a lot of power to keep your home's interior temperature comfortable. Taking good care of your system will not only prolong its life but will also help you save on energy costs and usage.
Change the air filter in your HVAC system every month and replace it with a new, clean one. A clogged or dirty air filter will make your system work harder, which results in higher costs and can possibly cause your system to malfunction. New energy-efficient homes tend to have programmable thermostats, which can also be a great way to keep your system running smoothly.
3. Invest in Quality InsulationImproper or inadequate insulation can cause outdoor air to seep inside, and indoor air to escape. This can pose a problem when it comes to energy efficiency and waste, which also means a higher energy bill for you.
Check to ensure that your attic has enough insulation and replace old insulation with new, more energy-efficient options like spray foam. You should also look closely at all of your doors and windows to make sure they're properly sealed. Replace weatherstripping and seals to reduce drafts for some quick and easy energy-efficient home improvements.
4. Run Laundry on the Cold CycleInstead of washing your clothing on the warm or hot cycle, choose cold instead. Unless you need to sanitize something, using cold water should clean your clothes just fine.
The average load of laundry uses just 0.3 kWh when cold water is used. Hot and warm water rinses use as much as 4.5 kWh per load. This simple change can have a significant impact on your home's energy usage.
5. Less Water Use Equals a More Energy Efficient HomeBetween dishes, laundry, and bathing, your household likely uses quite a lot of water. You can reduce your consumption by making small changes like showering instead of taking a bath, which can use up to 75 gallons compared to just 17.2 for a shower, on average.
Turn the faucet off whenever you're brushing your teeth or shaving. Install a low-flow showerhead and faucet to reduce your water usage, too. Never run your washing machine or dishwasher until they're full to reduce the number of times you need to run them each week.
6. Consider Going SolarIf you want to know how to make your home more energy efficient in a big way, consider switching to solar power. While this change will cost you more upfront, it can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
Many localities offer a credit on your power bill when you switch to solar. Talk to a few different companies to confirm which ones will give you the best price on installing solar panels, and which ones work with the local power companies. This is a big change to your home, but it can have a major impact on your energy usage and carbon footprint.
7. Get an Energy AuditIf you're not sure about the best course of action to make your home more energy-efficient, start with a professional audit. Some power companies offer these audits for free or for a nominal fee.
A pro can tell you exactly where you need to make some improvements, and where you're doing things right. Some companies charge by the square foot or the hour. When you get the audit report, use it as a guide to help you make the changes you need to increase your home's energy efficiency.
8. Switch to Energy Star AppliancesMost appliances that are sold today bear the Energy Star logo. However, if your home is older, your appliances could be outdated and might be using way too much power.
You can find a list of appliances and other products online to help you determine which ones are Energy Star certified. These products have been tested and confirmed to be the most energy-efficient available. As a bonus, you may also qualify for rebates and tax credits, too.
9. UnplugThe simple act of unplugging items you're not using can have quite an impact. Computers, chargers, and small appliances can be a real drain on your home's energy consumption.
Try to remember to unplug anything and everything when you're not using it. For example, your smartphone charger can use 0.26 watts of energy when it's just sitting there. Combined with everything else in your home, unused, plugged-in items can account for almost 10-percent of your total energy bill each month.
Small Changes, Big ImpactFrom fixing leaky windows and doors to updating insulation and going solar, there are plenty of things you can do to have a more energy-efficient home. Start by making small, incremental changes to see just how much of an impact you can make on your energy bill and on the planet.
To learn more about how we can help you build your dream home, contact us today.