7 Ways to Make Energy-Efficient Home Improvements
Making your home energy efficient not only allows you to save money, but it also provides you the opportunity to help our planet. Using less energy means decreasing harmful emissions from power plants and protecting the earth’s natural resources and ecosystems. So, why not make energy-efficient home improvements today?
Though making energy-saving adjustments may seem insignificant, your small changes will produce significant results in the long run.
Creating an Energy-Efficient House
Having an energy-efficient home involves making conscientious decisions and creating the right habits through the following seven ways.
1. Lower Your Thermostat
If you’re not at home for most of the day due to work or other responsibilities, lower the temperature on your thermostat before you leave the house. Lowering your thermostat by 7-10 degrees can save you up to 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs.
There are smart thermostats that can easily help you regulate your home’s temperature while you’re at home, at work, or on vacation. In addition to working around your schedule to regulate the temperature at home, smart thermostats keep an eye on the weather outside to help craft a custom temperature as well.
2. Seal Your Windows
Be sure to check all of your windows for any air leaks. Air leaks contribute 25 to 30 percent of the energy use that goes into residential heating.
You can fix these leaks by installing window shades, shutters, and screens to add a layer of protection. And, if you have single-pane windows, we recommend upgrading to double-pane windows to proactively keep the cold and hot air out.
3. Use Apps That Provide an Energy Savings Mode
In today’s digital age, there are a wide variety of smart devices you can install in your home to craft an easy and secure lifestyle. These smart technologies often come connected to a mobile app that provides convenient options such as custom scheduling your blinds or offering an energy savings mode.
The tilt app offers an energy savings mode that can now be used with MySmartRollerShades and the Roller Shades Automation Kit. This mode senses the temperature beside your window, and then the shades will move to adjust the temperature inside your home accordingly. For example, this mode will open your blinds during the sun’s peak hours in the winter and close them as the day cools down, offering convenient insulation.
Using energy-efficiency applications such as this will help alleviate your energy use and costs that would normally go into your home products such as your thermostat.
4. Replace Your Incandescent Lightbulbs
Think about energy-efficient items you can incorporate into your home. For example, if you’re currently using traditional incandescent lightbulbs, switch them out for Energy Star certified light-emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs. They typically use about 25 to 80 percent less energy and can last 3 to 25 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs.
5. Unplug or Install Smart Power Strips
Even if you turn off your electronic devices at home, they still use power—about 75 percent of the energy they use. So, when you’re not using your devices, be sure to unplug them or replace your power strips for smart ones. Smart power strips shut down power to products that go into standby mode.
6. Save Water
You’ve probably heard this numerous times, but save water! We tend to leave the faucet on as we brush our teeth or lather soap on our hands. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), turning off the tap water “while brushing your teeth can save 8 gallons of water per day.” And, turning it off while shaving can save you “10 gallons of water per shave.” Be sure to make a conscious effort to turn off your water during moments like these.
7. Wash Full Loads of Laundry and Dishes
Avoid doing laundry until you have a full load ready. Moreover, wash your laundry in cold water. Approximately 75 to 90 percent of all the energy required to do a load of laundry goes into heating the water. Therefore, use cold water to save energy and money on your next utility bill. And, by using cold water, your clothes will be less susceptible to shrinking or fading.
Using a dishwasher means you are using 27 fewer gallons of water than if you were to wash dishes by hand. Moreover, by running the dishwasher only when it’s full, not only are you eliminating one load of dishes per week, but you are also saving your family nearly 320 gallons of water in a year.
Be sure to wash your laundry and dishes at night as well. It will keep your house cooler and reduce strain on the power grid (peak hours are from 4:00 to 6:00 PM).
By incorporating these key suggestions to energy proof your home, you’ll see the benefits on your utility bills and feel great knowing you have also helped our environment. Understanding that the world we create is connected to our daily choices can help us integrate the right changes and find even more alternatives to offset our carbon footprint.