How to Make Your Home More Efficient and Save Money
Efficient home appliances are good for the earth and good for your wallet because using less energy conserves precious natural resources and saves you money on your utility bills. Depending on how big a home improvement project you are willing to take on, the changes you make today can have a significant impact on your overall energy usage. Even small changes can add up quickly and create noticeable savings.
A well-insulated home stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, reducing your heating and cooling costs. The best time to insulate a house is during the construction phase, but installing insulation by blowing it through holes cut into existing walls is common practice, too. When choosing your insulation, consider whether you prefer recycled or conventional materials. If your home has more than one level or connects to a garage or workshop on one side, you may decide to use soundproofing or fireproofing materials to insulate between these areas.
Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescents and LEDs are the new standards in energy efficiency. They are no longer considered high tech and are becoming more affordable. Although the initial cost of these bulbs is greater than what you may be used to, they last considerably longer than the old styles of bulbs, and they save you money on your energy bills. If you cannot afford to replace all of the bulbs in your home in one go, set aside enough funds to switch out one or two every month.
Energy and the materials used to create it are not the only natural resources you should seek to conserve. Water conservation is important and does not always require radical changes in habits. Simply installing low-flow faucets and showerheads in your home can save as much as half the water from normal activities. Installing a low-flow dishwasher has even more benefits because heating less water for the washing and rinsing cycles saves you money on both water and the energy used to heat it. The same goes for low flow shower heads and clothes washing machines.
Make Your Heating and Cooling Appliances Work for You
Installing an energy efficient air conditioning unit is a good first step toward saving money on your heating and cooling costs. However, regular maintenance of your unit also goes a long way toward being able to keep it cool and energy efficient. Having a qualified technician clean the air conditioner’s condenser coils and ducts, lubricate moving parts and check the blower motor can prevent future problems and keep the machine from running constantly.
Installing a programmable thermostat is another way to reduce energy usage related to heating and cooling. You can program this type of unit to run less frequently during the night and when no one is at home. During the winter, you can set it to resume its normal setting before you return at the end of the day so you don’t have to come home to a cold house.
If you want to start conserving water and energy and saving money on your utility bills, make a list of all the home improvement projects you want to complete, and then start small. Check off items as you complete them so you can see the progress you are making, and enjoy your newly energy efficient home!