Maybe you want to make your home more energy efficient to save some money on your monthly utility bills. Maybe you decided that it is time that you started caring more about the planet. Or perhaps you simply want a fun project to focus your time on. No matter your motivation, making your home more energy efficient does not have to be difficult. In fact, there are many projects that will increase the efficiency of your home and take no longer than a couple of hours.
#1-Swap Out Light Bulbs
Replacing the incandescent light bulbs in your home with energy efficient CFL bulbs is a quick and easy way to make your home more energy efficient. CFL bulbs last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs and they use about 75% less energy. This means that your monthly electric bills will go down and you will spend less money replacing burnt out bulbs. You will also be doing your part to care for the environment. It is estimated that if every household replaced 9 bulbs in their home with energy efficient CFL bulbs, the U.S would save almost $9 billion each year in electricity costs and decrease our greenhouse emissions significantly.
#2- Use a Power Strip
‘Vampire power’ is the energy that electronics use while they are turned off, yet still plugged in. It is estimated that vampire power accounts for nearly 8% of the average household’s yearly electricity consumption and costs the U.S more than $11 billion annually. To help combat vampire power, the solution is simple. Purchase an inexpensive power strip (about $10 at electronics stores) and plug all of your electronics into it. That way, you can easily turn off all of your electronics with the flip of a switch when you are done using them.
#3- Address Air Leaks
Air leaks frequently occur around windows, doors, electrical outlets, faucets, light fixtures and A/C units. It is estimated that reducing air leaks could save you up to 40% on your heating bill. This could easily translate into a savings of hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. Most air leaks are easy to identify and can be fixed by purchasing foam insulation strips or installing new caulking.
#4-Air Dry Your Laundry
The energy that the typical American family uses drying their laundry is significant. While it would be ideal to get rid of both your washer and your dryer, most families don’t have the time or the energy to hand-wash all of their clothes. Instead, give your dryer a break and vow to air dry your laundry outdoors if you live in a warm climate. For those that live in colder climates or apartments, use an indoor drying rack. As an added bonus, line drying prolongs the life of your clothing and reduces the need for ironing.
#5-Adjust Your Thermostat
Letting your air conditioner or heater run full blast all day is a huge waste of energy and will increase your utility bills very quickly. For maximum efficiency, it is recommended that you set your thermostat to 68 degrees during the winter months and 78 degrees during the summer. Resist the temptation to crank up the air conditioner on hot summer days or turn up the heater on cold nights. Grab a blanket and invest in a space heater in the winter and install some ceiling fans for the summer.
Follow these 5 simple tips and you will be well on your way to saving money on your utility bills and reducing your home’s carbon footprint.
Allen Green is avid sports fan and home and energy enthusiast. He blogs about saving money and energy topics for UtilityCompany.net, one of the leading online resources for lowering your utility bill through deregulated energy. He is somewhat new to Twitter, but you can follow him @AllenGreen3.