When it comes to energy -saving, planet-helping home changes; little things add up. Not only do the little things add up in energy savings for your own home, but for the environment, as well. Let’s all do our part (and save some money in the meantime!), and think about implementing some of the energy tactics below:
Filters, and More Filters
Not only does changing filters mean healthier air and water, but changing air filters can reduce the energy it takes to heat and cool your house, as well. A win-win.
Check each light bulb to make sure they are the correct wattage for the fixture, replace burned out bulbs, and think about converting to LED for reduced energy and heat. Bonus: Don’t forget to use natural light when possible – no energy needed, and mood-boosting!
Heating & Cooling
Only set your thermostat to the temperature you actually want – cranking up or down to get to the temp quicker won’t help get you there faster! Also, be sure to program your thermostat. According to Energy.gov, lowering your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees during the workday will save 5% to 15% every year, and lowering your desired temperature
Also, small, routine tune-ups before AC season can not only save energy and money now, but also huge expenses (and the unpleasantness of a broken AC) down the line.
Check Window and Door Seals
Winter weather can cause caulk to harden and crack. Keep the cool air in, and tiny critters out by filling in any cracks or gaps along window and door seals. Sealing and adding insulation can save around 10% on heating and cooling costs.
Create Your Own Shade
For older houses without great insulation or windows, planting trees and creating foliage, especially on the west side of the home can block some of those rays from heating up your home. In the winter, when you want the heat from the sun, the bare limbs will allow those rays to still come through! (If you are in a home that DOES have good insulation and windows, this will have less of an impact — but you can never have too many trees.)
A quick, and immediate way to reduce water usage by about half is to install low-flow showerheads. A good low-flow showerhead will reduce the gallons per minute from 5 gpm (gallons per minute) to about 2.5 gpm, without you noticing the missing water.
According to Treehugger.com, 90% of the energy used by your washer is used to heat the water, with only 10% used to run the actual machine, so running your washing machine on cold will save you a massive amount of the overall energy. Also, it may be common sense – but always try to wait until you have a full load for either clothes or dishes before turning on the machine – if you can wait, you should take advantage of packing as much “wash” for your energy usage as you can.
For a more detailed rundown on exactly what you can do for your home’s needs when it comes to saving energy, hiring a professional energy auditor could be your best bet. They will look in and around your home and identify areas that could be improved for energy and cost savings.