While homeowners often make the assumption that, by simply living in a newer build home they have done all they can in terms of energy saving measures, the fact is that everyone can benefit from taking a closer look at their home and their energy bills. Energy saving measures are obviously great for the environment, but for those families that are living on a tight budget, they can also present all kinds of long-term savings. Even the smallest of changes can add up over the course of the year, making it well worth looking into.
Now, granted it can seem a bit overwhelming regarding where to start in the home, what measures are the most effective, where can you get the most value for your dollar, what are the big vs small jobs and changes you can make, and is it worth making many changes at once? Here we’ll take a look at some of the top ways you can go about integrating energy savings measures in your home, from big to small changes, all of which will add up to significant savings over the course of one year.
Switch Out Those Old Appliances
One of the best places to start is by taking a look at all your major appliances in your home. Chances are that if they are more than 10 years old, they are far from energy efficient. However, switching out all your appliances is probably an investment you’re not willing to take on at once, so if that’s the case, it can help to prioritize.
Some of the biggest culprits for being guzzlers on energy include your air conditioning unit, furnace, washing machine and dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove. According to Engery.gov, your heating and air conditioning usage makes up 48% of your electric bill. The good news is that you have plenty of room to make improvements simply by switching to more efficient units.
If you don’t have the money to invest in the best heating and air conditioning units on the market today, that are energy-star rated, then you may want to think about having an HVAC maintenance service performed. A simple heating and air conditioning repair from a company like Semper Solaris could be all you need to make the unit more efficient and thereby cost less money to operate.
These types of maintenance and repair services are what professionals such as Semper Solaris specialize in. The company is also able to install new heating and air conditioning systems. They even offer solar panel installation, which provides you with the ultimate solution in energy savings.
Outside of your heating and cooling systems, the next biggest energy users are your water heater, washer, and dryer. Even by replacing one of those, you can see a significant savings on your energy consumption.
Change Your Light Bulbs to LED Lights
If you’re looking for a simple tip that is much friendlier on your wallet than investing in new appliances, it can be well worth your time to switch all your light bulbs to LED lights. What’s more is that, by 2020, you won’t even be able to find those old style CFL bulbs. In general, you can expect an LED bulb to use 70% less energy over the incandescent ones. Not only is there a cost savings in operating the LED lights, but they also have a lifespan of 25,000 hours compared to 8,000 hours from a CFL bulb. The bulbs themselves have also dropped in price quite drastically compared to when LED lights were first introduced into the marketplace a number of years ago.
Of course, you can increase the savings by also being mindful to turn off the lights as you leave a room. Motion detector light fixtures and dimmer switches can also help with energy savings.
Make Use of Natural Light During the Colder Months
Here’s a tip that is completely free, yet can make an impact on your home heating costs – simply by opening drapes and blinds during the winter months, you can take advantage of the sunlight to warm your house. Once the sun starts to set, you can close up those blinds and drapes to keep that warmth indoors.
Ideally you want to make use of insulated curtains which will protect against drafts and heat loss. On the flip side, these insulated curtains can also be used in the summer months to block out the sun, keep the cool air indoors, and relieve some of the pressure that is on your air conditioning unit.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are readily available to consumers nowadays, ranging from the most basic of models to those that have all kinds of features and can even be controlled wireless on your mobile device. The idea behind these devices is that you can put your thermostat on a schedule of your choosing. This means you can drop it down or raise it a couple of degrees while you are at work, sleeping, or when you are at home and need it to be the most comfortable. These thermostats even offer separate settings for weekdays versus weekends, when you will be home more often.
Install Ceiling Fans Throughout the Home
One problem that homeowners can often have is keeping a consistent and comfortable temperature throughout the entire home. This is especially true if your house has multiple levels. By installing ceiling fans throughout the house, you’ll be able to better circulate the warm or cool hair, thereby eliminating pockets that have a hard time staying consistent. Remember that ceiling fans can be used in the summer and winter months – simply reverse the direction of the blades once winter arrives.
Start Washing Clothing in Cold Water
It can be rather shocking to learn just how much it costs to run a load of laundry in hot water. Simply by switching over to cold wash detergent and using the appropriate setting on your washing machine, it won’t take long to start seeing the savings.
And when it’s time to throw those clothes into the dryer, try using the low heat setting, or better yet, let as many items as possible hang-dry either indoors on a drying rack or outdoors in the fresh air. Skipping the dryer all together is also easier on the fabric, which means your clothing will last longer.
Install Low-Flow Showerheads and Toilets
And speaking of water consumption, this is another area you can start to make some energy efficient changes. By installing low-flow showerheads and toilets, you will significantly cut back on the amount of water you use. The low-flow showerhead alone is often able to reduce your water consumption by up to 60%.
These two changes are relatively inexpensive, plus they are DIY jobs that most homeowners can tackle on their own with the right tools.
So Many Potential Areas for Savings
As you can see, there are so many potential areas for energy savings in the home, that even if you just pick a couple off the list, you’ll be well on your way to some serious savings. Your bills will come down, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping the environment and doing your part to limit your footprint on the resources.