Saving the earth should be everyone’s concern. And it starts with our own homes… Before it spreads to the way we purchase, like using a stainless steel cup for coffee instead of the disposable plastic ones. Or having a reusable bag at the grocery. This guest post is helpful to know where to start creating an energy efficient home.
Making your home energy efficient is a smart choice for many reasons. It lowers your impact on the environment and the climate change, and significantly reduces pollution. Apart from the environmental reasons, it will also save you money on powering your house.
And how can you do it? You don’t have to take on major projects such as installing panels or replacing all of your appliances with Energy Star ones. Most homeowners don’t realize that by focusing on smaller, basic things around the house can make a great difference.
Here is a rundown of 6 best ways of creating an energy efficient home and conserving your budget along the way.
1. Energy Audit
The first step towards making your home more efficient is to know precisely how much energy it consumes, what drains the most power, and what solutions are available to you. Energy audits serve that purpose, and they are basically assessments of how much power your home consumes, on what, and how efficient it is. Most utility companies offer free audits.
The way they are done is through thermal imaging of your house and testing for air leakages all around it, mostly on doors, windows, walls, and floors. It is the most precise and best way of discovering where and why energy is wasted. With that, you will get recommendations on what to fix and how to decrease your utility bills.
2. Insulation and Air Leaks
Bad insulation and air leaks are the worst enemies of energy efficient homes. Because of them, you spend too much energy on trying to heat or cool your house and face too high utility bills. An energy audit will detect which parts of your house are flawed and need attention so that you can focus on those.
You can discover air leakages on your own, as well, by holding candles near doors, windows, floors, vents, etc. If the flame is blown out or flickers, you have found your leak. You can deal with it by caulking it, foam spraying, or weather stripping them. And if the insulation is found to be bad, make sure to update it or replace it completely.
3. Programmable Thermostat
Investing money in a programmable, or even better, in a smart thermostat is a good idea. Even though it might be a bit pricier, it will very quickly pay off and have a significant return on your investment.
Programmable thermostats help you save a lot of money and energy on cooling and heating. They can automatically turn off or down at night or when nobody is home. They maintain an optimal indoor temperature and prevent energy wasting.
4. Phantom Power – Electronics in Standby Mode
Many of us don’t realize, but even when we don’t use our electronic devices, when they are in standby mode, or even turned off, they still consume power. That is called phantom or “vampire” power. They drain energy, and even if it is not a lot, it comes to a significant amount when you take into consideration how many you have, and their daily usage.
What you can do to prevent it and cut your costs, is to set the ones you can to the power-saving mode. Always turn off your electronics when not in use, and remember to unplug your chargers when they are not connected to the device. Apart from that, replace all of your old power strips and adapters with energy saving ones.
5. Replace Incandescent Lightning
The old, traditional incandescent light bulbs waste too much power while turning energy into light, and have a significant impact on your monthly bills. Replacing them with energy efficient ones is a very simple, yet a very smart thing to do.
You can choose between CFL and LED light bulbs, and waste significantly less money and energy. The CFLs last around ten times longer than the incandescent ones, and LEDs even more, up to 25 times. You will cut your costs on both replacing them and on your energy bills.
6. Strategic Landscaping
Have you ever thought about how your landscaping around the house can influence your energy savings? With a little effort and some strategic planting, they can.
If you plant some deciduous trees in the right spots, they can benefit you in both summer and winter. During hot days, they will provide shade over your roof and windows. When they shed their leaves, they will allow sunlight to reach your home during colder days. Trees function as natural insulators and can reduce your need for heating and cooling.
Applying some of these tactics and ideas will benefit both your home budget and your environment. It does not take a lot to start living greener and more energy efficient. Inspect your house, introduce some simple changes, plant some trees and you have already made some significant steps towards improving your life and your climate.
Author: Matthew James
Short bio: Matt James is a freelance writer specialized in home improvement, smart technology, architecture & design. He has a love of outdoors and spending time with his dog Cooper. You can reach him on Facebook and Instagram.