Thanks to global warming, solar technology and other modern innovations, energy efficiency has been a hot topic for the last decade. Homeowners around the world have discovered simple ways to reduce their carbon footprint and help the environment while also padding their pockets.
Reducing your energy bills doesn’t have to be as drastic or expensive as installing solar panels or rewiring the entire house. There are plenty of easy ways to lower your heating and electricity costs – from installing insulation to programming your air conditioner.
Read on to learn four tips that can make your home more energy efficient:
1. Look for “Low Flow”
Low-flow water fixtures can drastically reduce your home’s water consumption. According to Energy Star, a government energy-efficiency program, you can reduce your water consumption by up to 50 percent by installing low-flow fixtures; this can easily add up to $145 per year or more in savings.
The financial incentive may not be enough to get you excited, but this is an easy, cost-effective way to help the environment. In particular, low-flow sprinklers, such as the slow-drip watering system, will save water that would have been used on landscaping.
2. Remember: Insulation Is Key
Keeping your home insulated is essential for saving energy. This can lower both your heating and cooling costs by preventing the transfer of conditioned air to the outside of the home, and vice versa.
Updating windows and doors is a more affordable way of improving insulation, but if you can afford the cost of air-sealing and general insulation in the ceiling, floors, attics and basement, then the investment could pay for itself after a few years of reduced energy bills.
3. Maintain Your Appliances
Newer and well-maintained appliances tend to be more energy efficient. The latest models have energy-saving settings that make them even more cost effective.
For example, you can set your air conditioner to turn off and on as necessary. Washers and dryers also come with energy-saving cycles for lighter loads.
4. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
If your home was designed to allow natural sunlight to enter, take advantage of this architectural perk. You can keep your curtains open and turn the lights off during the day to reduce electricity costs.
According to Energy.gov, using fluorescent light bulbs can also help you save energy. You can replace your most used lights and fixtures with Energy Star products. Other ways to lower power bills include using outlet timers and motion-detecting lights. These lights can actually be solar powered, which can further reduce energy waste.
Each small step to improve your home’s energy efficiency can make a big difference in both your budget and your carbon footprint. Thanks to modern technology, there are plenty of affordable ways to lower your consumption of gas and electricity, and these four steps are great starting points for a greener lifestyle.