Updating your home so it’s more safe, efficient and functional is important. Saving energy means saving money – a win, win! Even a few small changes can make a big difference… and there’s a ton of things you can do today to make an impact on the environment and your bank account! Check out our list below, and let us know which ones you’ve tried – and what some of your favorite energy savings tips are that we missed!
First… Compare utility bills with a neighbor you trust, and try to find someone with a similar sized home and number of occupants. Any stark differences should be cause for concern, and you’ll be one step closer to knowing which area of your home to focus on for updates and improvements.
Once you’re ready to tackle inefficiencies in your home… Schedule an energy audit with your local service provider. Before you play the guessing game, an in home assessment by a professional will help you and your family make educated choices on where you can save. Many service providers will offer a free inspection.
While your energy provider is at your home, inquire about discounted efficiency lightbulbs! Many provide rebates or discounted rates on efficient bulbs ordered through them – sometimes they’re even free! So go ahead and swap out your old bulbs for new efficient ones.
While you’re at it, save on electricity by simply turning off lights you don’t need on. You can also unplug appliances and equipment that drain energy even while you’re not using them. Culprits include cell phone chargers, coffee makers, printers, radios and fans. When in doubt, unplug it unless you’re using it!
If your windows are old, inefficient or downright leaky… they could be causing your HVAC system to work overtime. There are a few things you can do:
- Caulking the exterior of your home’s windows will be the first line of defense against drafty leaks.
- Weather-stripping. This can be applied on the interior edges of your windows and will protect against cold drafts in the wintertime – cheap, easy and removable.
- Window film. Most quality window films will amplify the insulation power of your glass during wintertime while deflecting the sun’s heat during summertime.
- Similarly, your attic may be the cause for winter drafts and summertime heat gain in your home – install an attic stairs cover box to protect yourself!
If you feel your water consumption seems high, there are plenty of small changes you can make to improve this.
- Repair leaky faucets! Doing so will reduce your water usage by up to five percent.
- Take shorter, cooler showers. I know, nothing like a long hot shower… BUT did you know that the hotter the water, the dryer your skin will be? Asking your family to cut down on shower time, and letting up on the scalding hot water will save you in the long run.
- To ensure your hot water stays at an efficient (but more importantly SAFE) temperature, lower the water heating temperature to 120 degrees. This will prevent burns on children and help lower your water bill.
- Insulate your water heater tank and pipes! There are even special “blankets” made for the tank. These are cheap to install and pay for themselves in a year or two.
- Clean your fridge condenser coils at least once a year.
- Hang your clothes to dry on warm, breezy days
- Close vents and doors in unused rooms
- Install a thermostat that allows you to schedule heat/cooling while you’re gone
- Have ducts inspected and insulated
- Clean and replace filters on your furnace, ac and heat pump to keep them running efficiently
There is plenty more you can do to up the efficiency of your home… we’re even seeing an increase in solar panel installations, and it’s awesome! From big to small, any change you make to lessen your home’s impact on the environment is a good change. What did we miss? Share your tips and tricks below!