Whether you want to help the planet by living an environmentally friendly lifestyle or simply save on your energy bills, there are a lot of reasons to make your home more energy efficient.Below, we’ll go over a few upgrades and activities you can do around the house to help make your home more “green.”
Update your fixtures and appliances
Modern appliances not only offer the latest conveniences, but ENERGY STAR models offer the latest in energy efficiency. From ENERGY STAR certified washing machines to low-flow toilets, there is a wide range of innovative upgrades capable of reducing your energy usage and minimizing waste.
Of course, making a sizable investment such as this isn’t always financially feasible. Not to worry, there are small updates every homeowner can carry out throughout the house. For instance, opting for eco friendly LED bulbs when it’s time for a light bulb replacement is a great way to cut back on energy use. If there’s room for these updates in the budget, your home may qualify for LEED certification, which is a great selling point.
Upgrade to a smart home
Another popular way to improve energy efficiency and resale value is integrating a smart home system. With relatively easy installation processes, these devices include everything from smart security systems, energy meters and home hubs you can control remotely with an app on your phone. These technological advancements go a long way in automating your home and also cutting back on energy expenditure.
How so? A leading example is programming your smart thermostat to follow an energy-saving schedule. Completely customizable, this straight forward approach has been found to reduce heating and cooling costs by 15%. There’s also utilizing smart lighting systems with motion sensors to turn off lights that aren’t in use. As these home devices learn your preferences and habits, they can even suggest further ways to save.
Unplugelectronics whenever possible
Have you heard of phantom power consumption? Briefly, it’s when the counter top appliances in the kitchen and electronic devices all across your home draw energy even when switched off. Even a phone charger that’s not in use is using small amounts of electricity and impacting your bill.
To combat phantom power consumption, it’s advised to unplug anything from the outlets you aren’t actively using. As this could become a hassle, you could utilize a power bar instead. These strips of power points can simultaneously service devices, televisions, cable boxes, game consoles and more,which makes it easy to switch everything off when the household goes to bed. There are even programmable models available so you don’t have to remember at the end of a long day.
“Quick” tips to save on energy
Living more sustainably doesn’t require months of renovations or expensive upgrades. Here are a few tips on tweaking your habits and maintaining your home to save on energy:
- Utilize ceiling fans correctly with the “reverse” option in the winter to push hot air down and the “forward” option for summer to keep rooms cool.
- Run your large appliances at strategic times to avoid time-of-use rates.
- Remove dust clogs from behind large appliances as they cause the motor to work harder and waste energy.
- Seal duct work with heating vent tape in visible joints or places where heat is lost.
- Install a clothesline to reduce dryer use, which can account for 6% of a home’s total energy use.
- Wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket to reduce heat loss.
- Perform a professional energy audit to point out opportunities for improvement and provide accurate data for an energy rates comparison.
Becoming more energy efficient one step at a time
As you make changes large and small, keep in mind the many benefits of living in an energy-efficient house. Such benefits include lowerutility bills, a smaller carbon footprint, support for the economy and, ultimately,better quality of life. You too can reap these rewards by modifying your house one step at a time.