Do you feel like you’re spending a fortune on your electric bill? Chances are your home is using a lot more electricity than it needs to. By making your home energy efficiency, you can substantially cut down your monthly electric bill.
But that’s not all! Making energy efficient upgrades to your home decreases the amount of carbon emissions you release into the atmosphere, meaning you’re helping the environment as well as helping your wallet.
We have 7 easy tips that can help you increase your home energy efficiency and decrease your monthly energy bill.
What is energy efficiency?
Before we go into how to make your home more energy efficient, let’s go over what energy efficiency is. The key to home energy efficiency is doing more with less. When something is energy efficient, it will use less energy to complete a job. For example, an energy efficient home will use less electricity to heat a room to 70 degrees than a non-energy efficient home.
Increasing home energy efficiency will thus reduce your overall energy consumption. This has two major benefits – you spend less on your electricity bills and you help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.
Decreasing your energy costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Sounds like a no-brainer to me!
Top 7 tips for making more your home energy efficiency
Having an energy efficient home can be done by making a few upgrades to your home. Some are bigger investments than others, but they will all end up saving you money in the long run. Here are top tips for increasing your home’s energy efficiency:
1.Get a home energy audit
A home energy audit, or a home energy evaluation, will identify what energy efficiency improvements you should make to your home in order to decrease your energy consumption. It will also show where air is leaking out of and into your house, which contributes to how energy efficient your home is.
During an energy audit, a number of tests and inspections will be completed that will determine what home improvements would be most beneficial.
2. Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs
This is one of the easiest things you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Energy efficient light bulbs, also known as LED light bulbs, use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. Not to mention, LED bulbs last 25 times longer. That means not only will they save you money by using less energy, you’ll also save money by not having to replace your bulbs as often.
Energy efficient light bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs because they don’t release as much heat. Incandescent bulbs release about 90% of the energy they use as heat. By eliminating the heat loss, LEDs are able to use substantially less energy. This will reflect on your energy bills.
3. Consider using smart powerstrips in your home energy efficiency
If you’re afraid of ghosts, then you should be absolutely terrified of phantom loads. A phantom load is electricity that is used by electronics that are turned off but are still plugged into an outlet. Phantom loads can end up adding $200 to your electric bills every year!
Things like televisions, printers, computers, and device chargers all draw energy even when they aren’t in use. But do you really want to unplug your TV every time you’re not watching it? There’s an easier way to prevent phantom loads, thanks to smart power strips.
Basically, all you have to do is switch your traditional power strips over to smart ones. Smart power strips shut down power to any products that go into “standby mode”. Some electronics you own, like your wifi, need to stay on all the time. So, smart power strips have outlets that have a continuous power supply.
Cutting the power to devices that are in standby mode prevents you from paying for electricity that you aren’t even really using! Smart power strips save you money while increasing your home energy efficiency.
4. Install smart thermostats
Another big source of wasted electricity is heating and cooling your home. Heating and cooling are actually the two biggest categories of energy usage in households. Cutting down that portion of your bill can give you substantial savings. That’s where smart thermostats come in. With a smart thermostat, you program what temperature you want your home to be and what your daily schedule is like.
Based on the schedule you program, the thermostat adjusts the temperature of your home to be lower when you’re not home and just the right temperature for when you walk through your front door. By adjusting the temperature when you’re not home, you’re not using as much energy to heat or cool or space.
The settings of your smart thermostat can also be changed using an app on your smartphone, making it easy to adjust settings even when you’re not home.
However, that’s not all these thermostats do to save you electricity. Smart thermostats track your interactions with the thermostat (like how and when you adjust the temperature) to better control the temperature of your home. Plus, when connected to your smartphone, they can track when you leave the house so it can optimize your temperature settings even further.
Not only does this make you more home energy efficiency, it saves you lots of money.
5. Invest in energy efficient appliances
Switching from traditional appliances to energy efficient appliances is another great way to decrease your energy usage. Energy efficient appliances are designed to use less electricity to complete the same tasks that a traditional appliance would.
Most appliances have energy efficient models, ranging from energy efficient space heaters to energy efficient washing machines. For example, energy efficient refrigerators have improved insulation and compressors that allow them to use less energy to operate than older refrigerator models.
6. Insulate your home
This tip tends to be a little more expensive than the others, sometimes coming out to around $1,000. However, installing insulation has the potential to give you substantial energy bill savings.
If your home isn’t properly insulated, it’s going to use a lot of extra energy to heat and cool your home, even if you do install a smart thermostat. A well-insulated home is an energy efficient home!
The EPA estimates that a homeowner could save 15% on heating and cooling costs simply by adding insulation to their home. It is recommended to insulate in attics, crawl spaces, and basements.
You will want to install insulation in any walls or floors between your home and an unheated space, like the wall between your home and an attached garage or the floor above your crawl space.
You can also install energy efficient windows, which are designed to help you maximize energy savings. However, installing all new windows can be expensive, so in most cases it is more cost effective to seal drafts on your existing windows using caulk or weather strips. You should also use draft stoppers for any drafts coming through doors.
7. Install solar panels on your roof
Although technically not an energy efficiency upgrade, solar panels are a great way to save on your electric bill. Plus, you’ll be powering your home by clean energy. Powering your home with solar energy is the best way to turn your home energy efficiency into a green home.
Solar panels take your energy efficient home to the next level by taking advantage of renewable energy and reducing your reliance on fossil fuels!
Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity. That clean electricity is then used to power your home. You don’t have to pay for the electricity your solar panels produce, which cuts down your electric bill.
When your solar panels produce more electricity than your home uses, the excess electricity is sent back to the grid. In most states, your utility will pay you for that excess power through a process known as net metering.
Solar panels and energy efficient upgrades complement each other very well. After you make all of your energy efficient upgrades, your home will use much less electricity. Lower electricity consumption means you can send more electricity from your solar panels back to the grid. That’s extra money going straight to your pocket!
You can also find more details about Off-Grid Solar Systems.
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