Did you know you can save the Earth and your wallet at the same time? In this era, we live immersed in innovation and information, it’s easier than ever to make informed choices as a homeowner to make improvements to keep your home running as efficiently and cheaply as possible. From small improvements to larger projects, there are a number of ways you can save money in the long run and make sure that your house isn’t wasting energy. Read on for the best ways to make your home more energy-efficient.
Lower your thermostat. When you’re off to work or otherwise away from home, take up the habit of turning down your thermostat (or turning it up in summer, you get the idea: saving resources from being used while you’re away). According to the Department of Energy, adjusting your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees can save you up to 15 percent on your energy costs!
Seal your windows. Windows are one of the most common culprits of air leaks and energy loss. Luckily, they’re also one of the cheapest to deal with! Sealing your windows and applying shrink film can cost between $25 and $50 but will save you anywhere from $40 to $80 in energy costs.
Install low-flow showerheads. They might not make for the most satisfying showers, but you’ll be surprised just how much water they save! Low-flow showerheads have a flow rate half that of traditional showerheads, so install some and watch your water usage (and accompanying bill) plummet!
Limit your heater use. The principle here is the same as lowering your thermostat. Most space heaters are expensive and inefficient to run, and with the thermostat, you’ll run into the same issues you do during summer days. If you’re looking to cut costs, just put on more clothes and don’t turn up the thermostat.
Unplug your chargers. Did you know your phone and computer charge cables still draw power when not in use? There’s a reason why they’re often called “energy vampires” by those in the business. Just one cable lying out won’t hurt you too bad, but multiple cables left plugged in indefinitely can be responsible for up to 10 percent of your energy costs.
Start composting. It may seem kinda gross, but it makes very good soil and is a way to cut down on the amount of waste you need to be picked up every week. In case you’re unaware, compost is the result of organic (food) waste left to decompose over time. It doesn’t take much yard space to start a pile, and your fruit and veggie waste can over time be a valuable fertilizer for your lawn! Also, check with restaurants you frequent to see if they participate in sustainable waste solutions. Biofuel is the next step towards a truly efficient lifestyle.
Replace your light bulbs (most likely). If you live in a newer house, you likely don’t have to worry about this, but older homes are often filled with old incandescent light bulbs that manufacturers stopped making in 2014 in favor of newer, more energy-efficient light bulbs. If your house fits the bill, consider replacing your old bulbs with efficient Halogen and LED bulbs to save on your electric bill.
Get your HVAC system tuned up. It’s an extra cost you’re probably hesitant to pay, but would you rather swallow the thousands it costs to replace your furnace later on? Think of it like going to the doctor or the mechanic: getting an annual check-up and minor adjustments can keep things running smoothly for far longer than they would without. A replacement furnace costs between $2,000 and $8,000. The choice is yours.
Add insulation to your attic. Adding more insulation to your home is costly but can seal air leaks and improve your heating and cooling costs and raise the value of your home. Costs depend on the size of your attic and the climate you live in, but the average cost to blow more insulation into your attic is $1,350.
Invest in Energy Star appliances. Energy Star appliances are those that meet specific efficiency standards by the EPA, and they use 10 to 50 percent less energy than traditional appliances while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Appliances aren’t cheap, but if you’re planning to replace any of your major ones like your fridge or your washer and dryer soon, considering investing in some Energy Star appliances.
Plant trees in your yard. Shade trees are a fantastic way to save on air conditioning costs while also improving the value of your property! Sure, you’re adding another chore to your to-do list forever, but shade trees can also save you up to 50 percent on your air conditioning costs, and who doesn’t love a home with trees in the yard? Make your house a little greener figuratively and literally, for now, and into the future!