What is the largest, most comfortable, yet most wasteful thing in your possession? If you answered “my home,” you’re probably correct. Every year, countless people waste tons of cash paying for staggeringly high energy bills. It’s not only financially, wasteful, it’s also a big ecological problem. All the unneeded power your house draws means higher bills for you and a greater carbon footprint for your home. If you can find ways to make your home more energy efficient, you save money and help to save the planet as well! Today we’ll help you fight wasteful spending with five ways to make your home more energy efficient.
Installing a programmable thermostat is a great way to see some fast reductions in your energy bills, helping to ensure your home is the most comfortable when you’re there to enjoy it. Relatively inexpensive and easy to install, you can program your thermostat to keep your home the coolest overnight as you sleep and allow the AC a break while you’re away from home at work. It’s a fantastic, simple change that can help you save 5-15% a year on heating. While you could also simply reset your thermostat manually, a programmable thermostat saves you the trouble of remembering to constantly adjust it!
Insulating your home to retain heat in the winter may seem like a no-brainer, but that same insulation can help to contain your home’s cool air during the summer as well. It’s important to make sure that your ceilings, attic, and walls have proper insulation for all seasons, not just one. Your windows are another important spot to check, as an older window with damage to the frame can become an energy vampire as the temperature controlled air escapes outside. Provided you can fill the gaps and cracks of your home, you can be sure that your inside temperature will stay stable no matter what it’s like outside.
Energy Efficient Lights
Check the lighting in your home. If you still have traditional incandescent bulbs, it’s probably time to go shopping. Replacing your bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs will cost more upfront, but the energy savings more than cover the initial price difference. They are that a great way to reduce your energy consumption while producing fewer burned out bulbs as trash. While LED bulbs do not contain mercury, many do contain lead and other contaminants. Check to see if your local hardware stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot will recycle them for free.
Cutting back on your water consumption is a great way to lower your bills, but nobody wants to stop showering. Fortunately, if you install low-flow fixtures throughout your house, you can save water without sacrificing your hygiene. The EPA states that a family of four can roughly save 20,000 gallons of water annually by simply swapping standard 4.5-gallon-per-minute showerheads with 2.5-gallon-per-minute ones. The lower volumes of low-flow fixtures allow will help guarantee that you’re able to increase your home’s water efficiency while seeing significant reductions in your water bill.
Arguably the best way to combine energy efficiency with financial savings, installing solar panels can help protect both your pocketbook and the environment. Homes with solar panels can reduce or eliminate their reliance on traditional coal-burning power plants, the nation’s top carbon dioxide emitters, while also lowering their energy costs with cheap, clean, and renewable energy. You might also be pleasantly surprised by the price of residential solar panels, with great financing options and tax breaks available. Out of everything we’ve covered, solar power can have the greatest positive impact on both your personal finances and the health of our planet.
Revamping your home’s energy efficiency is one of the quickest and easiest ways to save money. Best of all, the improvements that you make will actively help to minimize your homes contribution to greenhouse gasses. It’s always a good feeling to save money, but recognizing that you’re also saving the Earth is an even better reward. Whether you look for small, simple changes like programmable thermostats, or large, impactful changes such as solar power, there are tons of ways to make your home more energy and financially efficient. With so many options, we hope this list has given you an idea of where to start on your energy-saving adventure!