When you emphasize energy efficiency in your home, you’re spending less energy doing the same work. That means you’ll reduce your long-term utility expenses while enjoying the conveniences of modern technology.
Every home, whether you own or rent, can become more energy efficient when implementing these steps.
Fastest Ways to Create a More Energy Efficient Home
1. Switch your lightbulbs.
If you swap out the older incandescent bulbs or the ones that have mercury in them to the new LED models, you can save significantly on your monthly electrical expenses.
2. Cold Water Laundry
When you wash your laundry in cold water instead of hot, you’ll find that your costs associated with this task can drop significantly.
3. Air Seals
If you seal the different leaks, gaps, and cracks in your home, you can save up to 10% on your overall home heating and cooling costs each year. You might need to add insulation in some areas, while it might be necessary to caulk or add weatherstripping in other places.
4. Microwave Magic
Although the recipes might come out a little differently, consider using your microwave for cooking instead of your stove. It’ll take less energy, and you’ll still end up enjoying a hot meal when you’re finished.
5. Change the Filters
It would be best if you tried to change the air filters in your home at least twice per year. It might be necessary to do it once per quarter in some places. When your systems must work harder because they are sucking wind through dirty screens, it makes them work harder and longer than necessary.
6. Close the Drapes
When it is winter, closing the drapes around your windows will keep the cold air from coming into the general living area. If it is warmer outside, you’ll want to take the same step on the side of the house that gets the sun to reduce the work your air conditioner must perform.
7. Use the Sunshine
Instead of turning on your lights all of the time, use natural light from outside whenever possible. If you need to use fixtures regularly because of your home’s design, consider having the lights times with photocells so that they only turn on during the dark. This step is especially critical for any powered outdoor lights you might want to run.
8. Change the Temperature
If you can set your thermometer higher in the summer and lower in the winter, you’ll experience some significant savings. Even a change of five degrees is enough to save 5% for the month. Although that doesn’t seem like much, it ends up being $15 on a $300 bill. Those savings become a significant figure when they get multiplied by 12.
9. Install Ceiling Fans
If you install a ceiling fan in each room, you can raise the thermostat setting by four to seven degrees without experiencing reductions in comfort. This benefit occurs in the summer or winter – you’ll just need to reverse the fan direction.
10. Fill Up the Fridge
Did you know that your refrigerator and freezer work better when they’re full? If you want to reduce your energy costs, you can fill up the empty spaces. It doesn’t need to be steak and lobster in there. Even extra water bottles, soda cans, or similar beverages will improve efficiencies.
You’ll want to check your freezer regularly to ensure that the ice buildup isn’t getting too thick. The best time to defrost these appliances is before it reaches a 1/4-inch so that the equipment doesn’t need to work harder than it should.
11. Keep the Oven Closed
When you’re baking cookies or making dinner with the oven, keep the door closed whenever possible. Each time you peek inside to see how things are going, you can drop the interior temperature by 25 degrees. Your appliance then starts working harder to make up the difference.
12. Avoid the Peak Hours
It helps to run your laundry, dishwasher, and other house chores at night. This step can take the energy consumption away from peak hours (which can get expensive), keep your home cooler, and potentially reduce your risk of experiencing an emergency. Don’t forget to take off the heated dry settings to save even more energy!
It can take some time and a few investments to improve your home’s energy efficiency rates, but these costs don’t need to be overwhelming! When you adopt the ideas above as they make sense, you’ll see those utility bills start creeping downward.