Whether you want to save money or contribute towards slowing climate change, there are numerous ways to make your home more energy-efficient.
Consider designing your home to capture sunlight at various angles, which can reduce heating and cooling costs.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
On average, about 50% of an American’s energy bill is spent on heating and cooling their home. Installing a smart thermostat can make a major difference in your home’s energy efficiency by making it simpler to keep the temperature comfortable throughout the day. Plus, these thermostats also learn your schedule and preferences over time so they can adjust according to them accordingly.
Many top-of-the-line thermostats use Wi-Fi to automatically adjust settings according to your preferences, helping you save money. Some models even feature room sensors which detect when a room is empty and adjust their temperature accordingly.
2. Insulate Your Attic
One of the best ways to make your home more energy-efficient is by insulate it. Not only will this cut costs on energy bills, but it also improves indoor air quality and makes your house more comfortable for you and your family members.
Insulation can be made from fiberglass, cellulose or mineral wool. Each type has distinct advantages and costs associated with it.
Insulating your attic effectively can save you money on energy bills all year long. Furthermore, it will keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
Insulation deficiencies can also cause air leaks, allowing heated or cooled air to escape your home. These gaps can be filled with caulking, weather stripping or spray foam for added security.
3. Replace Old Light Bulbs
Switching your light bulbs can save you money on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. There are various options to choose from, such as energy-saving LEDs or halogen bulbs with reduced mercury content.
Start by choosing bulbs rated at or below the wattage of your fixture. Doing this helps avoid running the risk of overheating the wires and potentially damaging the fixture.
Horowitz recommends selecting a bulb with an Energy Star label, which verifies it meets stringent efficiency standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Some places accept burned-out bulbs for recycling, but be sure to check local laws and regulations first. In some cases, it may be necessary to place the old bulb in a separate box before discarding it.
4. Install a Smart Meter
Smart meters can make your home more energy-efficient by providing insight into how much electricity and gas you are consuming. This information helps you budget efficiently, as well as understand how energy use affects your bills.
Standard meters require energy suppliers to estimate how much you use and generate estimated bills accordingly. Unfortunately, this can be inaccurate, leading to overpayment or underpayment in your account.
Smart meters prevent this by sharing your real-time usage with your energy supplier. This enables them to accurately bill you and promptly address usage spikes.
5. Install Energy-Efficient Appliances
Installing energy-saving appliances can help you save money and reduce your environmental footprint. These models use 10-50 percent less energy than standard models, meaning you’ll pay less on electricity bills over time.
Additionally, appliances certified by the Energy Star program tend to be more energy-efficient than their non-certified counterparts. Furthermore, certified appliances may come at a lower price point than other models and qualify for utility rebates or incentives.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program is a voluntary labeling system designed to assist consumers in finding appliances that meet stringent efficiency criteria. You’ll see the ENERGY STAR logo on many items like washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and room air conditioners.