Today, homes in the U.S. are a major source of energy use. In order to reduce unnecessary energy consumption, save money, and create healthier living conditions, many homeowners are converting their homes to become more energy-efficient. Although at times it can be costly, there are many inexpensive strategies for improving your home’s energy efficiency, ultimately resulting in significant money savings over time.
Make Adjustments to Your Heating and Cooling Systems
One option is to install a programmable thermostat. After first making adjustments to its settings, the thermostat will remember to change the temperature when you typically are not home in order to save unnecessary energy use. Thanks to the efficiency it creates, the thermostat will pay for itself in only a few months. If you decide not to invest in a programmable thermostat, consider turning your heat or air conditioning off before you leave your house.
Turn Off Appliances/Gadgets When Not in Use
Traveling for work? Going on a summer vacation? Your printer, phone chargers, coffee pots, and clocks still drain energy when plugged in, so make sure to unplug any gadgets that will go unused while you are gone.
Install Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
Many people are converting to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to increase energy efficiency. You can save $75 a year simply by switching out five of your most used light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs. Plus, they’re not hard to find. You can find these energy efficient bulbs in most home improvement and hardware stores.
Insulate Your Home
When making your home more energy efficient, one of the first things you should do is insulate your home. Insulating your attic, walls and ceiling will not only keep your home nice and warm in the winter, but it will also prevent cool air from exiting your house during the summer. Additionally, make sure to seal windows and doors to prevent air leaks and cool drafts throughout the year.
Planting trees doesn’t just help with curb appeal; it can help keep the interior of your home cool in the warmer months of the year. Trees provide shade, so plant a tree on the side of your house that gets the most sunlight during the day. This will keep your home cool by blocking out the hot sun rays, so you will not have to crank your AC throughout the day.