Are you interested in making positive change in the world while reducing your annual bills? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider improvements in your home to create an energy efficient space.
An additional bonus to the switch: If and when you decide to move, your home will be more appealing to potential buyers! Let’s take a closer look at how you can create an energy efficient home while improving its marketability.
Switch to ENERGY STAR Appliances
The first step we recommend is assessing your appliances. Many homes that still utilize older appliance models generate even more air pollution than the average car. They can also increase a homeowner’s annual bills exponentially. If you want to get started on creating an energy efficient home, try switching to ENERGY STAR appliances.
The Energy Star symbol found on energy efficient appliances was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy in an effort to help consumers save money and minimize air pollution. Appliances worth upgrading include your refrigerator, washer and dryer, and kitchen appliances, such as your stove and microwave.
When you begin to conduct your investigation on the costs of switching to these new appliances, you may wonder whether or not you will actually save money; Energy Star appliances can be pricey. However, remember that over the years, you can reduce your annual utility bills up to 30%. In the long run, making the switch is a smart move.
Install Solar Panels
Solar panels can assist you in creating heat and generating electricity for your home. The initial investment on these can also be hefty. Once again, given time, you will save a considerable amount. Additionally, thanks to the increased popularity and myriad benefits solar panels provide – not only for homeowners, but for the world as a whole – there are now government incentives that can assist in covering some of the costs of the initial installation. You may even qualify for an annual tax deduction if you switch too.
If you are particularly motivated, you can even switch to solar blinds. New technology is now allowing for everyday household items to double as solar panels.
Start A Compost Pile
This one does not require a lot of space and does not cost much. You can simply designate an area outside for your compost pile and build a structure using old wood. Starting a compost pile is both great for the environment and reduces waste brought to landfills.
Check the Insulation of Your Home
This includes in the attic as well as along the windows and doors. Ensuring that the home is properly insulated can reduce the loss of cold/warm air, depending on the season. It can also reduce the need for the use of AC units and heaters. If you find that you are having difficulty keeping the temperature moderate in the home, you can also add insulation to the attic or purchase double pane windows.
10 Changes in Your Everyday Use:
- Remember to turn off all lights and appliances when they are not in use.
- Never leave the AC running when you are not home.
- Reduce the extreme use of your thermostat. Lower it in the summer and raise it in the winter.
- If the weather permits, hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer.
- Switch to cold water whenever possible, reducing the energy needed to create the hot water.
- Avoid pre-rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher to reduce water usage.
- Adjust your refrigerator temperature according to the season – if it’s not hot outside, there is no need to blast the cold air.
- Try removing the use of plastics in the home. Start simple by replacing plastic wrap with reusable containers.
- Turn off unnecessary water. For example, when you are brushing your teeth, turn off the faucet!
- And of course, recycle!
These 10 simple steps can help you become more conscious of your surroundings, reduce your impact on the world, and lower your monthly bills!
If you are uncertain about how your home is truly impacting your energy use, hire a professional.
With the transition of homebuyers seeking eco-friendly homes, there is now a multitude of companies that can provide you with a certified and trained auditor who can complete a full evaluation on the inefficiencies of your home. Once complete, you can start the journey to becoming part of the change.