Wondering how to make your home more energy efficient and avoid potential catastrophes such as leak detection?
You’re certainly not alone in seeking out answers. Many homeowners want to improve their home energy efficiency to lower bills. They also want to be more environmentally conscious.
Homeownership comes with an abundance of responsibilities. These responsibilities are added on to other expenses like a car payment, student loan debt, and paying for the kids’ new school clothing.
Even though there may be upfront costs needed to get the ball rolling, the advantages of going green can last for years to come. As our go-green strategies are successful, we can end up saving big time.
So, what are some of the ways to improve our home’s energy efficiency?
Read on to discover how to make your home more energy efficient to lower your bills and help the environment.
Going Green: How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
The average homeowner in the U.S. spends over $2,000 on energy bills every year. If we want to improve our cash flow and our environmental impact, then we’ll need to invest wisely. Explore the following ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
1. Add Greenery
Greenery like shrubs and trees around your home can help to lower heating and cooling costs. The best part is that it also helps to improve the environment.
To see the best results, strategically plant trees around your home. Make a point to plant a large tree on the western and southern sides of your home. This will lower cooling bills in the summer and lower heating bills in the winter when the tree’s leaves have fallen off.
You can also add shrubs around your home to reduce the impact of cold air entering your home in the winter. To be more energy efficient, plant shrubs on the western and southern sides of your home.
2. Attic Insulation
Adding more insulation to your attic can greatly affect your home’s energy efficiency. Doing so allows your home to retain heating and cooling depending on the needs of the season. This is because added insulation reduces air leaks.
Sealing all air leaks in your home can save you 5% to 30% per year on your energy bills and usage. And, since a large amount of your energy can escape through your attic, it’s a good idea to start there. You can then use other air sealing techniques like weather stripping and caulking around the remainder of your home.
3. Window Upgrades
Cracks in windows, doors, and skylights account for over 20% of energy loss in our homes.
Upgrading your windows can help to reduce this loss and lower your energy bills. For example, installing storm windows can reduce heat loss by 25% to 50%.
Start by upgrading your windows with Energy Star rated windows to get the best results. Double glazed windows with built-in blinds are also a great example of energy efficient windows to shop for.
4. Thermostat Control
Lower your thermostat to make your home more energy conscious. Seek to lower temperatures especially during times you aren’t at home or when you’re asleep.
Lowering your home’s temperature by just 10% to 15% for 8 hours can help you to reduce your heating and cooling energy costs by 10%.
You can also purchase and install a programmable thermostat that will do all the work for you!
Unplug electronics when they’re not in use. Electronics not in use don’t consume nearly the amount of energy as electronics being used, but they still use unneeded electricity.
Aim to unplug any all electronics not in constant use to help improve your home’s efficiency and energy bills. While you may not see a big difference in your bills, overtime these costs can add up.
Electronics in your bedroom may also be distracting you from getting a good night’s rest. So by unplugging them in your bedroom, you’re also improving your own energy levels.
6. Solar Panels
Create your own energy production system by installing solar panels. Solar panels help you to produce your own electricity to power your home using the sun’s energy. While this is not a low-cost energy efficiency fix, it can greatly help to improve your home’s energy usage.
Installing solar panels may also help you to save annually on your taxes!
Use sunshine to your advantage! In the winter, open your blinds. Especially during the afternoon when the sunshine is at its strongest.
8. Assess Appliances and Fixtures
Upgrade appliances and fixtures with Energy Star rated products. This includes your furnace, refrigerator, stove, and even your showerhead.
Replacing these items will cost more upfront, but in the long-term, they can help you to significantly lower your bills. Pay special attention to your HVAC system as well to ensure it’s operating efficiently and at full capacity.
9. Wash Wisely
When washing clothes or dishes make sure to only wash full loads. This will help you to reduce water waste.
When you can wash clothes in cold water instead of hot water. Heating the water causes additional energy usage, which increases your energy bills.
10. Rain Barrels
Install a rain barrel or two around your home to take advantage of water savings. Rain barrels allow you to collect rainwater, store it, and then use it to water your plants and grass.
11. Upgrade Lighting
On average, homeowners spend 11% of their energy usage on lighting. So, if you haven’t already upgraded your light bulbs, now’s the time to invest in this easy energy fix.
Upgrade any incandescent light bulbs to fluorescent or LED bulbs. Also, upgrade lighting fixtures to Energy Star rated lighting options. In the end, replacing your home’s bulbs and fixtures could reduce your home’s lighting energy usage by 50% to 75%.
One Fix at a Time: How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Knowing how to make your home more energy efficient frees up your wallet for other financial priorities. Even small fixes can go a long way, so it’s a good idea to start within your budget and then save up for more costly energy efficiency updates.
Planning on using the money you save on energy bills to remodel your living room? Check out our blog post for 7 awesome living room remodel ideas.