For years, people have been encouraged to make their homes more energy efficient. If saving the earth isn’t reason enough, decreasing your carbon footprint can save you hundreds of dollars in home energy bills. New technology and ideas are constant these days and people are more attracted to homes that have kept up with the energy efficient times. Below are 7 ways to improve your homes efficiency while saving you money.
One of the biggest ways you can save energy (and therefore money) in your home is by insulating EVERYTHING. Insulate your walls, insulate your roof, insulate your doors, everything! So much heat escapes from homes just because of poor insulation. You can buy inexpensive, stick-on insulation to put on door and window frames. During the winter, it’s helpful to hang thick, dark curtains which prevent heat from escaping through the windows. Insulation is a key feature in any home and can save you a ton of money when applied correctly.
Water saving shower head
If you’re a fan of long, leisurely showers, consider investing in a water-saving shower head. These use only half the amount of water that normal shower heads do. Also keep in mind that baths usually take about 30 gallons of water while showers use a much less average of 15 gallons, so showering is definitely the more energy efficient choice.
Start a compost pile
Composting can decrease your total household waste by up to 30%. It offers a cheaper and more natural alternative to chemical fertilizers. Save all of your fruit and vegetable waste as well as other food scraps in a separate (smell proof) container to improve your lawn or garden. For instructions on starting your own compost pile, visit eartheasy.com.
Replace incandescent light bulbs
The average home uses 40 lightbulbs and you can decrease their energy usage by up to 80% by switching to more efficient bulbs. Compared to the traditional 60 or 40 watt incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diode bulbs last longer and are more energy efficient.
One of the most common misconceptions people make is that if not turned on, an appliance doesn’t use energy. However, appliances still consume about 0.26 watts of energy when they’re plugged in, even if they aren’t turned on. So unplug those “ghost vampires” when you aren’t using them because those watts adds up!
Wash clothes with cold water
Hot water is a massive consumer of energy in your home. While a cold shower might not be your thing, there are many other ways to decrease your hot water usage. Of all the energy it takes to wash your clothes, about 75% comes solely from heating the water. Washing with cold water also preserves the color and quality of your clothes so why not make the switch!
Plant a tree
Planting a tree in your yard can save your home energy year round. In the summer, the shade prevents sunlight from entering your home and during the winter, when the tree is bare, sunlight will be allowed in. Not only will you decrease your carbon footprint, you’ll save loads on heating and air conditioning bills!
It’s in everyone’s best interest to switch to a more energy efficient home. Studies have shown that homebuyers are now more attracted to homes that are green. There are also several tech gadgets you can add to your home that increase it’s value and save you money in the long run. Whether you make the change for the purpose of saving the earth or just to save a few bucks, get to work on making your home more efficient!
For more tips on how to improve your home, contact a Door agent today!
(Image via Michael Smith, flickr)