There are many reasons you might want to reduce the amount of energy you are consuming. You might be seeing a spike in your utility prices and it’s become a necessity to cut back. Many people become invested in becoming more eco-friendly, and saving energy and water is a great way to pay it forward.
Regardless of your intentions, energy savings can pay off immensely over time. Some common ways to reduce energy will cost a lot of money upfront, but they are all worth it if you intend on staying in your home long-term. Once you’ve learned about energy-saving practices, you can determine which ones you can transition to.
Replace Old Appliances
If you want to drastically reduce your monthly payments, you are going to have to make some pretty big changes in your household. Old, outdated appliances are one of the biggest reasons your bills are sky-high. These appliances likely don’t work properly, consume far more energy than newer models, and negate your home’s property value.
Swapping to newer home appliances is certainly the right call. It may cost a lot initially, but the reduction in utility payments is amazing. If you are concerned about the costs, there are ways you can pay for these appliances without giving the money all at once. You might even be able to sell your older appliances (if they work) and use the money to fund the new ones.
Use LED Bulbs
The kinds of lightbulbs you are using are also affecting how much energy you use. Incandescent bulbs are commonly left behind by past homeowners or landlords. These bulbs are free and extremely cheap, but they are incredibly inefficient. You will be using (on average) about 75% more electricity than if you switch to another kind of bulb.
LED bulbs are much better at lighting your home. They cast a whiter light than incandescent and fluorescent lights do. It will also significantly reduce how much you spend on electricity. Similar to appliances, you will likely have to spend more money on the bulbs at first, but they pay themselves off quickly.
Maintain Your HVAC
Your HVAC system goes through a lot—particularly in the summer and winter months that have harsh weather conditions. Because you don’t want to be caught in a blizzard with a faulty system, you need to get it checked frequently. You can reduce your utility costs by inspecting your HVAC to ensure proper functioning.
As soon as you notice anything weird about your HVAC system, you need to call a professional immediately. Common problems could be related to its efficiency, odd noises, or odd smells. The consequences could be minimal—such as a higher bill, or in the worst case, deadly.
Consider Renewable Energy
Taking the step to become more energy independent is a great choice. Not only do alternate energy sources save the planet, but they remove some of the burdens you face in paying your city. There is a variety of different kinds of renewable energy to choose from, but the majority are extremely niche and situational.
Solar panels are probably your best bet for an alternate energy source. Compared to other forms of renewable energy, solar panels are relatively cheap and can pay off very nicely if you live in a sunny area. Most contractors are also used to installing them, so feel free to ask!
Insulate Your Home
Finding ways to keep your home’s temperature consistent is another route to go in saving energy. If the temperature in your home doesn’t radically shift, there is less of a reason to put your HVAC system on full blast.
First, figure out whether your home needs its insulation replaced. Many starter homes (particularly in older areas) tend to get passed around a lot. Because of this, deeper maintenance issues like insulation tend to be neglected. Talk with a contractor to see what needs to be done. On a side note, having a lot of trees around your home can mitigate the temperature and make it cooler, which also helps keep your home more consistent.
Turn Off Your Thermostat
Becoming better at turning off your thermostat at strategic times of day will also help you be comfortable and energy-conscious. During times of day when it is cool—at nighttime, early morning, and on rainy days—it is easier to maintain a steady temperature. This is paramount when becoming energy efficient.
But what if you don’t want to worry about turning the thermostat on or off every day? If this is you, it is high time you invest in a smart thermostat! This device allows you to control what temperature your home is at any time with the touch of an app. You can plan everything out, and adjust as necessary.
Seal Cracks and Leaks
A surefire way to maintain your home’s energy efficiency is by sealing up any leaks or cracks in windows and doors. Drafts can ruin your home’s energy flow. If you have noticed wind emanating from certain areas of your home, you need to get some DIY done.
Weather-stripping is a great way to seal up cracks underneath your doorway. If that doesn’t seem to work, you can get a caulking gun. This works in more flexible situations. However, a broken window might just need to be replaced.
Green Your Lifestyle
When it comes down to it, your lifestyle will indicate the way your home operates. If you want energy efficiency to be your number one goal at home, find ways to change your lifestyle. Try riding a bike to work instead of taking your car. Taking public transit also works.
Set timers for how long you will shower and wash your hands. Take efforts to recycle your trash.
Buy goods that will last for a long time, and try reusing things to the best of your ability. Living green is a huge benefit to society (and to your wallet).
There are plenty of ways you can save on energy. You may have to make some physical changes to your home and behavioral changes to your day-to-day life, but the rewards after it is done are well worth it.
Read this next: How Climate Change Will Impact Homeowners
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