Greening your home is not only better for the environment, it’s better for your wallet, too. You’ll lower your utility bills and maybe even gain some tax credits by making some upgrades. From major adjustments to minor changes, there are dozens of ways you can make your house more energy efficient and here are five of the top ways.
Replace Old Appliances
Older appliances are usually energy-sucking beasts. If you can afford to replace them it will vastly improve your home’s efficiency. Some of the worst energy wastes are your refrigerator, furnace, A/C systems, water heater, dishwasher, stove, and laundry machines. You can find energy efficient models at reasonable prices everywhere these days. The government offers tax credits in some states for replacing old appliances so any money you spend on them will be made up through the credits and through your lower energy bills.
Reducing your energy consumption is as easy as cleaning. Your furnace and air conditioning filters should be replaced or cleaned every couple months to keep airflow at its most efficient. Even during the summer you should keep your filters clean as air conditioners circulate the air through the furnace. Keep the coils on your radiator, fridge, and laundry machines clean to keep them running efficiently because built up gunk acts like insulation and prevents the coils from heating and cooling properly. Keep your baseboards clean to keep airflow around your vents as efficient as possible. Keeping your appliances clean can be a laborious task but it not only helps reduce your home’s energy consumption, it will keep your house more hygienic.
Seal Your House
Keep your house’s heating and cooling systems running the best by sealing any cracks in your walls, roof, attic, windows, around faucets, and where your HVAC system was installed. If air can leak into or out of your house, it will make your heater and air conditioner work harder to maintain the temperature. Some leaks only need some caulk and an afternoon to fix, while others like leaks in your roof, might require a professional. Adding weather strips to doors that lead outside will also help keep the drafts down.
Your attic can be a major source of air leaks and temperature loss. Consider upgrading your current insulation with a layer of spray foam. Adding more insulation will make an already efficient attic even more efficient and is relatively easy to do. Check your attic for stains or discolorations on your insulation and you’ll see where there are leaks. Attic fans can also vastly improve your cooling abilities by pulling hot air out of your attic and keeping your house cooler.
One of the easiest ways to help improve energy use is by simply plugging your appliances and electronics into a power strip. The power strip can stop anything that’s plugged into it from absorbing unnecessary energy when not use. And when you’re not home, asleep, or on vacation, you can reduce your energy consumption from non-essential appliances and electronics by flipping a single switch. Power strips are cheap and require barely any “installation.” They’re a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and stop unnecessary energy use.
Upgrading your home’s energy efficiency will help you save money while helping the planet. There’s no reason not to take at least one of these tips and put it to use. With the money you must spend every month on your home insurance, fixed-rate or tracker mortgage, utilities, lawn maintenance, and HOA fees, saving money using these tips is a no-brainer.