Every day people are looking into finding new ways that they can use and become more energy efficient.
That means you are trying to use less energy to do the same jobs, and as a result, you are helping save the environment and saving money in the long run. The most effective strategy involves more than just using less energy, you need to understand how energy is used, how it’s wasted, and how can it be used more efficiently in your everyday routines.
You don’t need big changes like installing solar panels, you can simply start by turning off lights or appliances that are not being used at that particular moment.
Here are a few tips on how you can improve your home energy efficiency and save some money.
Improve the Insulation
At first, you will want to make sure that you improve the insulation, it is important that the outside air doesn’t get in. In most cases during winter, you could be losing a lot of the warm air from the inside, and during summer you could be letting in the warm air from the outside. That is why you need to insulate your home. By adding new or simply by adding onto what you already have, you are ensuring that there are no air leaks from your doors, attics or windows.
Having proper insulation will not only reduce your energy bills all year round, but it will also help you stay warm in winter and cool in summer without overusing your A/C or heating system.
Use Your Appliances Efficiently
The first step to reducing energy use is to find out how you’re using it. Be mindful of how you’re using your appliances, minimize their energy usage by minimizing their use. You should avoid doing small instead of full loads of clothes, also not starting a half-empty dishwasher. Since the refrigerator is one of the appliances in your home that is constantly on, you can help maximize its efficiency by turning the temperature to the “energy-efficient” setting.
A good thing is to have a reliable appliance repair center come over and check for any power surges or broken appliances that you are not aware of. Having appliances that are not working correctly can lead to using much more electricity than needed. Even though your appliances are not turned on, if they are plugged in, there is still energy that’s being wasted.
Replacing or Sealing Windows
Old, leaky or drafty windows are the main cause of air leaks. Letting in cold air during winter and warm air during summer can be very costly.
You can reduce that cost by:
- If you get new vinyl double pane windows, you are keeping the heat in and the cold out, because those panes are much more resistant to heat and cold transfer.
- Tinting your windows. They might not be the most attractive thing on a house, but it prevents a lot of unwanted heat and cold from coming in. Another option is to get windows that have heat mirror technology in them to help block UV rays.
- Invest in window blinds or shutters.
But if you are not ready to commit to those changes you can fix air leaks by yourself by:
- Adding weatherstripping around the frames.
- Adding silicone caulk over existing cracks.
- Apply a sheet of shrink film to your windows.
Sealing cracks and gaps is the easiest and the most inexpensive way to lower energy costs.
Use Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs)
Most people are not aware that manufacturers stopped producing 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs. This is why people are switching to fluorescent bulbs. Even though fluorescent bulbs cost more initially, they leave a huge difference in your overall usage of energy. This is all because fluorescent light bulbs last up to 12 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You can even mix them up and use fluorescent bulbs and some incandescent bulbs and it will still have a difference in your energy usage.
As you can see, creating energy efficient homes isn’t that difficult, and anyone can do it. You don’t have to do it all at once, you can do it at your own pace, and it will still make an effect. It is always a good idea to make a few changes every now and then, and slowly work towards it.
About The Author: Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvements, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.
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