Having an energy efficient home is beneficial in more ways than one. The obvious benefit is money savings on your energy bill, which we all know can get very expensive during the extreme seasons. Sustaining an energy efficient home also helps the environment. There are obviously many ways we can be environmentally friendly in our daily lives, but by following a few of these simple tips, you can do your part as a homeowner.
We rely on many different appliances in our day to day routines, so let’s start with how to effectively manage them for a more energy efficient home. Newer appliances are more energy efficient, so upgrading your appliances whenever possible is a great first step. When picking out appliances, look for those labeled “Energy Star Certified,” as you can know immediately that these will be the most energy efficient.
Unplugging or turning off your appliances once you’re done using them is a great habit to get into when it comes to energy efficiency. Even when they’re not operating, countertop appliances like coffee makers and toaster ovens can still use energy when plugged into the socket. Also, many electronic appliances such as refrigerators or TVs will have energy efficient modes or settings that you should consider running them in the majority of the time.
Insulate Your Home
As mentioned earlier, a large portion of our energy expenses come during the extreme seasons of summer and winter. Properly insulating your home can be a great way to cut down on energy cost, and in turn becoming more energy efficient. Have a professional check your insulation to make sure it is sufficient. Also, make sure your doors and windows are properly caulked to prevent air leaks. Further improvements can be made when replacing old windows with new, multi-paned, tinted windows for maximum energy efficiency. As for the doors, simple weather stripping can be placed in leakage areas for proper sealing.
Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
As your light bulbs throughout your home inevitably go bad, it is advised that you replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs. CFLs use significantly less energy than the traditional incandescent bulbs that you may be currently using. Although they’re more expensive, compact fluorescent bulbs can last up to 10 times longer than their incandescent counterparts, resulting in considerable savings for you in the long run. This is definitely one of the easiest and most cost effective ways you can improve your home to become more energy efficient.
Program Your Thermostat
This is another simple yet important tip when it comes to energy savings, especially during the extreme months. Most of us leave our homes for an extended period of time during the week. Make sure you program your thermostat according to your schedule, so that your AC unit runs as efficiently as possible. If you’re gone from 8 AM to 6 PM, there’s no use having your AC run full blast during these hours, especially when that’s when the sun is scorching the hottest. Program the thermostat to run at a reasonable temperature while you are gone, and have it kick back on to your preference when you return home.
In addition, changing the air filter in your home regularly can help maximize the efficiency of your AC unit. Most air filters recommend replacement every 3 months, so make sure you keep track of this schedule. This continual maintenance also helps decrease overall wear and tear on your AC unit, contributing to your long term savings.
Hopefully these simple and effective tips will help you maintain a more energy efficient home, as well as continue to be environmentally conscious in your daily life. Even taking bits and pieces can go a long way when it comes to energy savings.