Want to make your home more energy efficient? Sure you do! With energy costs on the rise, homeowners throughout the country are taking a proactive approach towards reducing their energy usage. It's a smart and environmentally friendly way to save money on otherwise expensive monthly utility bills. Here are five easy ways to make your home energy efficient and save money in the process.
#1) Lower the Thermostat
Lowering your thermostat during the summer can save you big bucks on your home's cooling expenses. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), turning down the thermostat by just 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day reduces cooling expenses for the average home by about 10%.
#2) CFL or LED Lighting
Don't make the mistake of using incandescent light bulbs in your home. Although it's the cheapest type of lighting, it's also the least energy efficient. Therefore, incandescent light bulbs will actually cost you money in the long run. A smarter and more energy-efficient solution is compact fluorescent (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, both of which last longer and consume less energy than their incandescent counterparts.
#3) ENERGY STAR Appliances
When choosing appliances for your home, look for the ENERGY STAR logo. This government-sponsored program is designed to encourage homeowners and business owners to choose energy-efficient appliances and systems. Statistics show that replacing a 20-year-old washing machine with an ENERGY STAR-certified model will save you about $110 per year on water and electricity.
#4) Conduct an Energy Audit
If you haven't done so already, conduct an energy audit of your home to determine exactly how efficient it is. You can conduct an audit either by yourself or by hiring a professional contractor. Either way, the purpose of this audit is to inspect your home for thermal leaks, missing insulation and other areas of concern that could otherwise increase its energy usage. Once you've identified these areas, you can take the necessary steps to fix them.
#5) Conserve Water
Creating an energy-efficient home goes beyond just reducing your electricity usage. It also consists of reducing water usage. You don't have to necessarily stop taking showers or baths, though. There are ways to conserve water in your home without disrupting your normal routine. Installing a low-flow showerhead, for instance, is a simple and effective way to reduce your home's water usage.