Being “Energy Efficient” at home isn’t just for granola-eating techies or Elon Musk. It’s the best way to reduce the price of your utility bill each month while also reducing your environmental impact on daily basis. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines energy efficiency as “delivering the same (or more) services while using less energy” and estimates that the most carbon emissions each year comes from electricity use, not just in homes but across the board. So wouldn’t we all want to get more for our money and make a positive environmental impact? The answer seems like a no-brainer—however, the how’s and what’s behind that aren’t as obvious to many home or business owners. The good news is that it can be very simple when you boil it all down to the idea that energy efficiency starts with good home maintenance.
Here are some of the best ways to conserve energy in your home.
You are sure to have a light bulb moment when you realize that switching from regular light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs) cuts back on your lighting costs by 75 percent and lasts longer—meaning you get more for your money and will ultimately save even more. It’s also important to remember that light gives off heat and alters the room temperature, which have your thermostats expending more energy to regulate! Be sure to place them away from your thermostat reader (and all appliances for that matter) so it doesn’t mistake the heat from lights for the actual temperature of your home.
It also goes without saying (or maybe not!) that turning lights off when you leave a room or don’t need them on, will make a difference, no matter how small. If you find that you can’t avoid leaving them on, then use a power strip with multiple outlets to streamline your electricity use.
Much of the energy in your home is used just to heat and cool your space. We love our homes and know how important it is that you feel as comfortable as possible in them. However, there can be plenty of leaks and cracks that homeowners are are unaware of, resulting in the loss of heat in the winter, as well as the loss of cool temperatures in the warmer months. So have your ducts and vents checked to make sure that they are properly sealed, and keep an eye out for any spaces in your doors and windows that may also be a likely culprit of energy waste. An easy way to maintain a comfortable room temperature while also conserving energy is by installing programmable thermostats that allow you to set a schedule or turn your heating/cooling systems on and off while you’re not home.
Another option to consider is alternative energy like installing solar panels. Although solar power seems like a huge undertaking, they’re becoming increasingly more appealing to homeowners, cities, and even utility companies. It is not uncommon to discover that there are financial incentives like tax credits, rebates, and monthly payments that make the transition easy—and even solar leasing, for those who are hesitant of making a long-term commitment. Using renewable resources and clean energy is becoming more of a necessity as we continue to drain our planet of fossil fuels that also put the environment in jeopardy. So for the health of you, your family, and generations to come, it’s important that we make the switch.