Many homeowners want to reduce energy expenditure each year to save money and help give back to the environment. But taking the steps to make this happen can feel daunting! Below, we list a few simple suggestions for ways to dramatically reduce your energy expenditure this year.
Install A Programmable Thermostat
Research suggests that about 50 percent of the money you spend on utility bills goes towards heating and/or cooling your home. Many homes waste energy on heating and cooling simply because they have a variable heating and cooling schedule. Programmable thermostats allow you to set the timing for your heating and cooling to help regulate timing and control unnecessary energy waste.
Use Window Shades
This one seems like a no-brainer, but getting into the routine of adjusting your window shades or curtains when you leave the house can help save on minimal energy costs throughout the year. And these savings add up! Closing blinds in the summer months will help keep out the sun to reduce AC needs, and opening them in the winter helps to warm the house naturally.
Change Your Lightbulbs
Lifetime use of a single incandescent bulb costs between 5-10 times more in electricity compared to the original purchase price of the bulb. What a waste of energy and money! Replacing your lightbulbs with light emitting diode (LED) bulbs and compact fluorescent lights (CFL) bulbs might seem like a hefty investment now, but these bulbs will pay for themselves and save you money in the long-run.
Use Low-flow Faucets and Shower-heads
Installing low-flow showerheads and faucets alone can reduce your water use by between 30 and 50 percent, and they are inexpensive (starting around $10). Make sure to look for a showerhead that matches the flow rate of an “automatic-compensating mixing valve.” This value will usually be listed behind the shower or on your water heater. A good rule of thumb is to check for the year your showerhead was installed; if it’s before 1994, you could probably save on energy expenditure by replacing it.
Install New Insulation.
Unless your home was designed with energy efficiency in mind, you could likely be saving on energy costs by adding new insulation to your home. Most older homes were built with minimal home insulation and waste energy compared to newer homes (although even some newer homes are not built with energy-conservation in mind).
There are a few types of insulation, so you may need to speak with a professional about which type is best suited for your home. The most common varieties are fiberglass insulation, spray foam insulation, cellulose insulation, and mineral wool insulation. You will also need to hire a team to help with insulation installation. Remember that adding to your home’s insulation will save you money in the long run!
Another energy-saving insulation strategy is to install a radiant barrier in your home (usually an attic). A radiant barrier traps heat in a small, insulated space (much like the warmth trapped in your car on a hot summer day) and can quickly warm the rest of your house.