Energy efficiency is not just a phrase used by hardcore conservationists. Improving the energy efficiency of our home should be a conscious thought for everyone. Conserving our natural resources makes sense because when they’re gone, they’re gone. Until we come up with an alternative plan for producing the energy we have grown totally dependent on, we should all do what we can.
If you are a homeowner, there is another viable reason to be energy conscious — the cost of it all. Saving money by finding ways to consume less energy can only be classified as a win-win.
Let’s take a look at some cost-saving methods that are worth investment.
What’s in your attic?
If you say nothing, I hope you don’t mean that. There should be insulation in your attic and walls. Insulation acts as a barrier to block air from filtering from the outside in and vice versa. Your home will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer without the constant hum of the furnace and a/c.
While you are checking on the insulation situation, it’s a good idea to put caulking windows and weather stripping entry doors on the to-do list. Little bits do add up to a big difference!
While you are at the windows checking on the caulk, you might take a good look at your frames. Are they aluminum? If so, consider changing them out to vinyl frames. Aluminum transfers heat very quickly so your hard earned money is floating out the window in the winter time. Vinyl frames will keep the inside air from reaching the outside summer and winter.
If you choose to invest in energy-efficient windows, double and triple-pane windows are an excellent choice.
Having your windows tinted is also a surprisingly efficient option! The heat and cold get held at bay!
Perhaps, it’s time to think about replacement windows. All of our windows are built for impact resistance from the start. This doesn’t only provide storm protection and deter intruders, it greatly affects the energy efficiency level of your home for the better!
Updating your appliances might seem frivolous. However, keep in mind that technology keeps advancing. So does the rate of efficiency in major household appliances! Having a super efficient washer and dryer can play a big part in reducing your footprint on the planet while actually lowering the cost of your utilities! Win-win!
Are you in hot water?
The temperature setting on your hot water heater is a big energy saver. Make sure it’s in the 120° to 140° degree range for optimum efficiency. It doesn’t need to be any hotter. A six-second exposure to 140° water can cause a third-degree burn! It only takes two seconds to scald if the water temperature is at 150°.
Wrapping the hot water lines with insulation is a good idea, so the water doesn’t begin to cool as soon as it enters the pipe.
A quick fix
Replacing your shower heads and sink fixtures are great ways to conserve water making even your bathroom energy efficient! The adjustable pulse on the head will make any change in pressure from the switch seem nonexistent.
There are also toilets available that use less water to be more efficient. Homeowners also fill an empty 2 liter or half gallon jug with water and place it inside the toilet tank. The used space forces the tank to shut off before reaching its maximum limit.
The light switch
Changing from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent may seem costly in the beginning, but fluorescent bulbs have a lifespan of eight to twelve time longer. That casts an entirely different light on things, doesn’t it?
Is there a downside to solar panels? We don’t think so! After the initial cost of having them installed, there is very little upkeep cost. They draw energy from the sun, and it gets used in your home. There is no doubt they will eventually pay for themselves and produce energy for your home forever.
Did you know that your refrigerator and freezer both run more efficiently when they are full? Neither did we. Let’s go shopping!
If you’re a night owl
Running your washer and dryer at night is to your benefit. It will keep your house cooler in the summer and helps distribute the power flux at the main grid. When everyone is using at the peak time of day, everybody pays for it! The same goes for the dishwasher. Also, you could turn off the heated dry and let them air dry.
Turn it off
We don’t turn things off. That’s something most of us are guilty of doing.
We need to stop that.
Turn off the lights and television when you leave the room. Shut down the computer when you aren’t using it. Turn things off! It will add up more quickly then we think. When we see the difference in the bill, we will have the incentive to keep it up.
Do you garden or tend flowers? You might consider building a rain collection station. A few well-placed barrels can do the trick. Having rainwater to use to care for your plants will lower your water bill and utilize the water that has just been a runoff for all these years.
Plant a tree
You don’t think about the fact that you are providing energy efficiency for your home when you gather the family together on Arbor Day and plant that tiny sapling. But, time flys.
Some well-placed trees will grow to provide ample shade sooner than you think! Shading your home will decrease cooling costs in the spring and summer. You will want to be sure and maintain the gutters on your home! Keeping them free of leaves and debris helps preserve the life of your roof.
That peaceful easy feeling
Knowing that your home is operating efficiently from every aspect brings peace of mind like no other. Having a home that is energy efficient is no different. Wanting to save money rather than pitching it out the windows or off the rooftops makes a multitude of sense.
Finding ways to improve your home’s efficiency factor is taking responsibility for providing for your family to the best of your ability. It is a teaching moment for your children by example rather than using your words.
Improving the energy efficiency in your home allows you to better provide for your family today. It’s just as important to show them how to provide for themselves tomorrow.