There are several reasons why you might want to make your home more energy efficient. For one, it’s better for the environment. Climate change is a growing concern, and we can all do our parts to help slow it down and keep our earth habitable for as long as possible. It’s also more affordable. Energy prices are forecasted to continue to rise in the coming years, and being more energy efficient means that you can save on your utility bills. While many people want to save energy, too many simply don’t know where to start. Here’s a guide on how to make your home energy efficient.
Seal Your Windows and Doors
If your windows and doors aren’t properly sealed, then you are losing conditioned and heated air when you run your HVAC system. It leaks out of the home, plus exterior air can get in, and your system has to work harder to keep up. Check all of your windows and doors for gaps, and hold a candle near your frames. If it flickers, then you have a draft coming through which means that air can get out. Use sealant and caulking, and replace any weatherstripping that might have worn down over time.
Service Your Furnace
While furnaces have gotten more energy efficient over time, they still use a lot of power. You can help keep them as efficient as possible by keeping them clean and operating smoothly. A yearly inspection by a professional will ensure that all of the parts of your system are operating properly, and the furnace does not have to work harder than necessary to compensate. You should also replace your filter every 3 months to ensure that air can flow freely. If you have pets, then you can even replace them every 1-2 months. You can have a reusable filter as well to keep your costs down.
Install Solar Panels
Solar panels installed on your roof can offer amazing energy benefits. They collect the power from the sun and convert it into electricity. When it’s sunny, panels can store excess energy for use during the nighttime or on cloudy days. If your panels are able to collect enough energy, you may never have to use the power grid at all. Solar power is completely renewable, so there is no impact on the environment. The typical price of solar panels can look daunting to some people, but no matter what, you will start to recoup that cost right away when you stop having to pay electric bills.
Use Your Large Appliances Efficiently
Your large appliances are great life and time savers. While you may not be able to stop using them completely, you can be more efficient with their use. For example, instead of drying every stitch of clothing, hang up as much as you can that is not going to be used immediately. You can even buy clips to hang socks and dishcloths. You can also set your dishwasher to air dry dishes instead of using the energy-sucking dry cycle. Make sure that you regularly clean out filters and exhausts so that they do not get blocked and cause your appliances to work harder than they need to.
Prevent Phantom Power
Many electronics, such as televisions, game consoles, cable boxes, and devices still suck up power even when they are not in use. This is called phantom power. To prevent this, make sure they are unplugged when you aren’t using them or they aren’t charging up. This also applies to countertop appliances. One way to make this easy is by plugging them into power bars that are set to automatically turn off at night.
Ceiling Fans and Shades
The temptation in the summer is to blast the air conditioner to keep everything cool at all times. However, if it’s not too unbearable you can cool things down without the air conditioner. For one, shades and blinds can keep sunlight out. You can also have ceiling fans installed to cool spaces and keep that hot air moving. If you don’t have ceiling fans, tabletop and standing fans will work great too.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t do whatever you can to be more energy efficient. You will not only help the environment, but you can save money, too. Use these tips to keep your home efficient and affordable.