Give Your Home an Energy-Efficiency Makeover

In terms of energy, how efficient is your home? You may be surprised at how much money you can possibly save each year by making a few changes to your household appliances and usage. These ten handy home energy tips can put you on the fast track to cost savings and a smaller carbon footprint!

 

  1. Wash clothes in cold water- Many high-efficiency washers are just as effective at washing clothes on their cold water setting as on a warm or hot water setting. Simply switching to cold water can save you up to $63 a year, according to the US Alliance to Save Energy.
  1. Save up to 10% on cooling and heating costs with a programmable thermostat- Having a thermostat that you can program to different temperatures throughout the day can save on your energy bill by cutting down the run time of your furnace or air conditioning unit. For an ultra-modern experience, check out Nest, a “smart thermostat” that can be controlled from your mobile device and adapts to your daily schedule by “learning” when to turn heating and cooling systems on or off.
  1. Use your window treatments- For a more low-tech approach, close your blinds on sunny summer days to keep out the heat, and open them in the winter to let good old fashioned solar power warm your house.
  1. Turn off all lights and electronics when not in use- Even the most innocuous household items, such as a toaster or a coffee maker, can use up surprising amounts of energy when left plugged in all day. These small appliances, nicknamed “vampire appliances” for their tendency to suck energy out, are even bigger offenders if they have a clock on them. Leave them unplugged until it’s time to use them.
  1. Invest in newfangled light bulbs- CFLs and LED lightbulbs may seem like the less cost-effective option at the hardware store, but they can save you a bundle on the back end. Energy-efficient lightbulbs reduce energy use up to 80% from traditional light bulbs.
  1. Always buy Energy Star- Look for the Energy Star label on your appliances. This is the government’s seal of approval for energy efficiency, guaranteed to save the consumer up to 30% on energy bills.
  1. Change your shower heads- Using a low-flow shower head or faucet can save on water bills, which in turn can put extra cash in your pocket and make your home more eco-friendly. Best of all, low-flow shower heads have come a long way since their inception, and are now very high-quality and hardly make a difference in your morning shower.
  1. Change those dirty filters- In order to keep the A/C and furnace from having to work extra hard to push out air, change the filters once every three months. This will also benefit you by reducing the number of allergens in the air.
  1. Turn down your water heater- Reducing the temperature to 130 degrees F will make little to no impact on the hot water in your household, but will save you a considerable amount of money and energy. Another good tip is to invest in a special blanket for water heaters, which helps retain the heat in the unit.
  1. Insulate your home properly- Sealing cracks around windows and doors and insulating your home can save up to 20% on energy bills by keeping heated or cooled air inside the house where it belongs. As everyone’s dad says, we’re not paying to heat/cool the outside, after all!

 

 

Source: US Alliance to Save Energy

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