So you make great decisions about reducing carbon emissions by driving a fuel efficient car, recycling your garbage, and by bringing reusable shopping bags to the supermarket. But are you doing all that you can to reduce it at home (which will also save you money)?
Did you know that heating and cooling your home accounts for nearly 50 percent of personal carbon emissions? So, by cutting back you can make a big impact and save money at the same time. It will also make a big difference when you decide to sell your home. Today’s buyers are very environmentally conscious and cost conscious.
6 Tips to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient and Save You Money
Adequate Insulation. Check your home’s insulation to make sure you’re not losing that warm air your home works so hard to provide you with. Before making repairs make sure to seal leaks with caulk or spray foam. If repair or replacement of insulation is necessary it is a hard “do it yourself” project but can save you several hundred dollars per year.
Energy Star Systems. Started in 1992, this EPA voluntary program to identify and promote appliances, heating and cooling systems and building products as energy efficient if they meet certain standards. When purchasing these products look for the Energy Star seal – it means you will conserve energy and save money at the same time. You can read more about them here.
Programmable Thermostats. It used to be you you would turn up the heat in the morning and lower it in the evening. With the newer programmable thermostats, they get to know you and automatically adjusts. It also has an adjust ment fro when you are away and you can change it on your way home using your cell phone. One of the leading brands is Nest and its not as expensive to change as you think – see more here.
Smarter lights. Switch from old, incandescent light bulbs to new light emitting diodes (LED) options which last longer and use less energy. This is the easiest fix you can do yourself. Take a look at the various options here.
Monitor Water Use. You can make a good impact just by becoming conscious about your water usage. For instance, turn the water off while brushing your teeth and only run your dishwasher when it is absolutely full. Another big energy and cost savings is to take shorter and cooler showers. For example, let’s say that you take a twelve minute shower every day, and your shower head produces two gallons of water per minute. If you cut that down to four minutes, you’re saving sixteen gallons of water per shower, or 5,840 gallons per year. Depending on where you are, that will save you about $100 a year per year in water usage.
Change Your HVAC Air Filter – A dirty air filter can slow down the air flow, making your system work harder and using more energy. During the winter it is recommended to change the air filter once per month and then once every 3 months throughout the rest of the year.
There are many more ways you can reduce the energy consumption in your home that will save you even more money. These just seemed the easiest and quickest ones to put into immediate action. While individually, these tips do not save you a ton of money, by combining them it starts to make a real difference to the environment and to your pocket.
For more information on making your home more energy efficient: