8 Small Things You Can Do to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Typically, when experts provide tips for making your home energy efficient, common suggestions are installing solar panels, replacing old windows with dual pane glass, and upgrading older appliances that consume more energy than today’s efficient ones. These suggestions will all improve the energy consumption in your home, but at a cost.
The initial investment for these steps can be expensive, and not a possibility for some homeowners at this time. There are, however, several more affordable things you can do that will make your home more eco-friendly and provide savings in energy bills.
Reduce Your Home’s Energy Consumption with These Steps
These 8 tips provide quick ways you can make your home more energy efficient. Many of these can be completed by one or two people with limited handyman experience and tools you can find at your local hardware store. A few can cost a bit more and require professional installation, but result in more savings. They are:
- Seal Cracks — The spaces around windows and doors can loosen over time, leaving small cracks that let air through. Use caulking to seal up the cracks and prevent air escaping or coming into your home.
- Cover Fireplaces — The chimneys on a wood burning fireplace provide a clear path for air exchange, letting the heated or cooled air inside your home escape. Close off unused fireplaces with a cover that prevents air from drafting up the chimney.
- Replace Lights with LED Bulbs — Modern LED light bulbs use 75% less energy than older incandescent bulbs, and also last longer. Replace the bulbs in your house’s light fixtures with LEDs for more energy efficient lighting.
- Install a Programmable Thermostat — A programmable thermostat allows you to set different heating and cooling settings throughout the day, depending on when people are home or sleeping. Studies have shown that they save many homeowners at least 10% per year on energy costs.
- Add Blinds to Windows — Windows are less insulated than the walls in your home, making it easier for heat and cold outside to impact the temperature inside. By installing thick blinds or curtains and keeping them closed, you reduce the temperature transfer between inside and outside.
- Replace Air Filters — As dirt collects in the air filters of your HVAC system, it lowers the efficiency of cooling. This requires more energy output to reach the correct temperature. To clean or replace, remove the air filters from the vents. They can be cleaned with water and a mild detergent. Once dry, or if installing new ones, you can replace them. This usually requires only a screwdriver to access the air filters, and should be completed regularly depending on the pollution and size of your home.
- Insulate Attic Floor Gaps — While completely redoing insulation is expensive, you can fill in any small gaps, such as those found in an attic floor for running wires or pipes, for a low cost.
- Install Ceiling Fans — This suggestion will cost slightly more as a ceiling fan can cost a few hundred dollars, along with the cost of installation. But ceiling fans are a low power way to cool down a room and save on the cost of air conditioning during the summer, especially if you live in a warm area.
With these tips, you can create a more energy efficient home and save money each month on energy costs.