Energy conservation is crucial to the health of our planet. Energy efficiency means that you are doing the same jobs without using as much energy. Or another way of looking at it is to make minor sacrifices in order to improve efficiency and decrease those dirty carbon footprints.
Using less energy in the home is not enough to make the home energy efficient. You must be aware of where and when energy is being used in your home, how much energy is being used and how much of it is wasted. Here are our 5 easy steps on how to make your home energy efficient.
1. Seal Your Attic
If you have the finances and are serious about making your home energy efficient, then you should consider sealing your attic. Many of the air leaks in a home come from the attic because of the holes that are cut to make room for wires and pipes. Use caulk to seal air leaks and make sure your attic is insulated correctly to prevent any heat from entering or escaping your home. Your home heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard to regulate temperature which will save you energy and money. It is also important to make sure attic stairs are properly covered.
2. Replace Old Appliances
There are many ways to save energy in your home. Replacing old appliances is one of them. The fridge, water heater and furnace use most of a home’s energy. A refrigerator uses up to 14 percent of a home’s energy on its own. If you live in a cold climate area, then your furnace spend up to two-thirds of your home’s energy on heating. Updating them could cut your energy bill in half. Trading in old appliances for new energy efficient appliances not only save you money and energy, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Keep Your Water Heater Warm
Heating water is responsible for up to 18 percent of your utility bill so it makes perfect sense to find ways to save energy here. A simple solution to wasted energy in the home is to turn down the thermostat on a water heater. For every 10 degree decrease, you could be saving between 3 and 5 percent on your bill. The Energy Department recommends people keep their water heaters at 120 degrees / 49 celcius. If you don’t have the money to invest in an energy efficient water heater, consider using less hot water. Washing laundry and showering in cold water makes an impact on energy efficiency in your home.
If you want to know exactly how much energy is being used on your water heater, ask your energy provider for an energy audit. Some offer them for free and will give you tips and advice on how to use less energy. If your provider doesn’t offer free energy audits, it may be worth the fee to have one done anyways. It wouldn’t hurt to compare energy providers in your area to see what benefits and rates they can offer you. An energy comparison site like Simply Switch can help you find better deals. Maybe that better deal will come with a free energy audit.
4. Take Advantage Of The Tax Incentives For Energy-Efficient Home Improvements That Are Available Through The Federal Government
Some federal, state, and local tax credits and other financial incentives help homeowners finance home energy efficiency projects. This in mainly due to the fact that federal, state, and local governments want people to invest in energy efficient renovations because they want to encourage more earth friendly ways of living. Do some research and ask local energy providers about tax incentives for energy efficient home improvements.
5. Revamp Your Windows
When doing home renovations people often overlook their windows. Much of a home’s heat is lost through windows. Windows that are not energy efficient lose even more. Consider having your windows revamped to save energy. Window frames made from vinyl with hold much more heat than frames that are made from aluminum. Double and triple paned windows are better than single paned windows at keeping heat inside the home.