Go Green! Tips for Making Your Home Energy Efficient
With all of the new technology and innovation these days, having a smart, energy efficient home is a lot easier than you may think! There are easy updates, fixes and apps you can use to help you go green. You don't have to do them all at once! Making small changes at your own pace can really have a significant impact on your savings, as well as the environment. Here are ideas to get you started:
1. LED Lighting: Replacing you incandescent lightbulbs with halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs will not only last longer but will offer you some savings on your electricity.
2. Smart Thermostat: Being able to control your thermostat wherever you are may seem like a luxury, but in fact, it's a lot more affordable and easy to get than you think! Installing a smart thermostat will allow you to control the temperature no matter where you are. Forgot to turn the AC down when going out for the afternoon? Do it from your smartphone! Setting a schedule and lowering your temp by just a few degrees will reduct your monthly bill and use less energy.
3. Extra Attic Insulation: Seal air leaks and improve heating / cooling by adding insulation to your attic. Depending on your home size, it may be somewhat costly but will save you in the long run.
4. Seal Windows: Taking an afternoon to seal up each window has tremendous benefits. Sealing gaps and leaks with caulk is easy and inexpensive. If your windows are draft, consider applying a weatherstrip.
5. Energy Star Appliances: Look for the energy star symbol on appliances when purchasing! Refrigerators, televisions, stoves, washers with this star of approval all meet energy-efficient specifications set by the EPA. These products use 10-50% less energy than standard appliances and help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. When you're upgrading, be sure to look for an energy-star product.
6. Low-Flow Showerheads: Low-flow showerheads will help improve your water efficiency. They have a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute - 50% less than most conventional shower heads use!
7. Unplug: Did you know that the average phone or battery charger consumes .26 watts of energy when not in use, and 2.24 watts when connected to your phone? Collectively keeping plugs connected when not in use can take up about 10% of your energy bill! Unplug!
8. Use Cool Water: If you can, use cool or warm water whenever possible to do laundry. 90% of the energy your washer uses is simply to heat the water! The other 10% runs the machine. Using cooler water can save a ton of energy.
9. Use A Laptop: Do you have a desktop computer at home? Replacing that for a laptop whenever possible will allow you to use less electricity and run on less energy. Laptops use 80% less and peak at a max energy draw of only 60 watts. Most desktop computers peak around 175 watts.
10. Get Audited: Most utility companies offer a free home energy audit. A professional will evaluate your home and provide a report on the inefficiencies and wasted energy, allowing you to pinpoint savings and opportunities to improve.
Really want to take the leap to go green? Try these:
11. Install Solar Panels: They aren't cheap, but are a very resourceful way to heat hot water and generate electricity for your home. Not only will they cut your electricity costs by generating electricity independently from your utility company, they'll also help you qualify for a tax incentive.
12. Tune Up HVAC System: Is your furnace and A/C unit running at peak efficiency? Receiving a home heating and cooling check-up with ensure connections are tightened, parts are properly lubricated and coils are cleaned.
Are you ready to go green? Which on this list will you do to help create a more energy efficient home? What are some other ways you can suggest?