Building a house in the twenty-first century is more than a simple construction process. As the climate changes, there are more and more things to worry about. We have to question ourselves – what kind of energy sources are we using? Are we using them wisely? Can we somehow improve? What small or big changes can we make to lessen our bills?
All of these things are something to think about when you are considering making your home more energy-efficient. To help you find new ways of doing so, we have made a list of a few things you can do.
Turn off or lower your thermostat
A lot of people don’t think about the thermostat too much. If it is at the right temperature, we forget about it. But, imagine how much energy and money you would be able to save if you at least lower your thermostat while you are at work?
We know it can be annoying if the house is too cold when you come back after a few hours. But, you don’t have to turn it down all the way, just lower it so that you don’t waste money warming up an empty home. If you develop a habit of lowering your thermostat, you could save from 5% up to 15% of energy every year.
Replace your windows
Using a green source of energy is very nice. But if you keep warming up the outside, you end up losing energy anyhow. If you have old windows, or windows that do not isolate heat a lot, you will probably end up with high bills and a cold house. So, if you want to invest in your house to make it more energy-efficient, we would suggest first replacing your windows. Pros on saving money by thinking about energy efficiency from Clearmaxwindows.com explain that if you replace your windows, your home will also have a better position on the market. So, in any case, window replacement can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Use water responsibly
Be conscious of the amounts of water you are using. Starting from turning off the water while you are shaving or brushing your teeth, to choosing showers over baths, all of these things can help you reduce water usage. An average homeowner can save a couple of hundreds of dollars per year just by making these small adjustments.
So, instead of using 75 gallons of water, you can use around 17 on a shower. Another thing you can do is fully loading your washing machine. Compared to half-loads, full loads will waste less water, since more clothes get washed at once.
Depending on when your house was built, you will have different types of isolation or none. Modern houses usually have insulated floors and walls. Not all of them have attic insulation. No matter which ones you choose to do first, they will all add to the long-term energy and money-saving. It might be a bit of an investment in the beginning, but it pays off long-term more than you’re probably aware.
Install solar panels
Reusable energy sources are something that the whole world is heading to. Although they are not very cheap, solar panels are becoming a popular way of getting hot water and electricity in a home. The benefits of solar panels aren’t just for the environment. While you are promoting lower fossil fuel usage, you can save money on energy bills in the long run. In some places, they can even help you qualify for annual tax incentives.
Replace incandescent lights
11% of an average household’s energy budget goes to lightning. Taking that into consideration, traditional incandescent lights might not be the best choice. These types of lights convert only 10% of the energy they receive into the light, while the rest becomes heat. If you still have lights like this, replace them with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). By using these, you will be able to reduce the lighting energy requirements by 50% to 75%.
For instance, CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent lights. The last 10 times longer too. The downside to CFLs is that they contain mercury. But no worries, you can still use LEDs, since they contain no mercury at all.
The changes you can make in your home to make it more energy-efficient can be very small or very big. We are aware that not everybody is in a situation to do all of these things. Nevertheless, the small changes are just as important as the big ones. It is important that we do our best in trying to make our homes more energy-efficient, and therefore, more environment-friendly.