More homeowners are beginning to go green, whether it’s to reduce their energy bills or protect the environment. In fact, energy efficiency has become a determining factor for potential home buyers.
From simple adjustments to system replacements, there are many ways to reduce your household’s energy use.
Get an energy audit
Energy audits are performed by qualified electricians to improve the energy efficiency of your home. An audit can help you spot issues such as air leaks and poorly functioning equipment. Your audit could also include a heat loss check, which includes reviewing the house’s insulation. In older homes especially, the level of insulation might be inadequate.
When your thermostat and air conditioning are defective, they can use up more energy than usual. During your audit, you can have your appliances inspected to measure the amount of electricity each device uses. The results of your audit will determine if it’s time to clean, repair, or replace your equipment. ;
With the help of your electrician, you can identify the necessary improvements that will help lower your power bills and reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Replace your light bulbs
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical American household uses about 5% of its energy budget on lighting. ;
Switching to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and LED bulbs is one of the simplest ways to reduce your energy bills. By installing bulbs equipped with an ENERGY STAR, you can save up to $45 each year.
Although energy efficient bulbs may require higher upfront costs, their smarter energy use and longer lifespan mean that they’re more low-cost in the long run.
Upgrade your HVAC
Your heating and cooling systems usually take up the most energy in your home. An HVAC that’s poorly functioning can lead to even higher power bills than normal.
If your heating and cooling systems are outdated or sized incorrectly, you might want to schedule an HVAC repair or purchase a replacement. You’ll stay cool during the summer and warm during the winter without breaking the bank. While you may have to spend more to set up your new system, your monthly savings will make the investment worth it. ;
You can also incorporate small changes to improve your home’s temperature. Keeping your fridge and freezer well sealed to ensure cold air does not escape. Sealing your doors and windows will also keep air from escaping. A poor seal allows air to escape, increasing your energy costs in the process. It’s also crucial to examine your ducts for leaks and cracks that can interfere with your home’s comfort and temperature. ;
Purchase energy efficient appliances
Older equipment may begin to be less reliable, or even need to be repaired more frequently. Outdated equipment can also lead to more expensive repairs in the long run. ;
Consider replacing major appliances like your dryer and washer with models that feature the Energy Star logo. This is the official federal guarantee that the appliance will require less energy when in use or on standby compared to regular devices. Energy savings differ based on the specific appliance. For example, ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators use only 9% less energy than its non-energy efficient counterpart, while clothes washers consume 25% less energy than regular models.
Efficient home improvements can enhance the comfort and value of your home. By making some small changes to your energy consumption, you can save not just money, but also the environment.