How to Have an Energy Efficient Home
How would you like to cut down your bills AND your eco footprint at the same time?
There are lots of ways you can be energy efficient at home, while also making a difference in the environment. Incorporate these easy tips into your everyday life, and pretty soon you’ll be feeling better and paying less!
1. Cooling Your Home.
With the summer heat, a cool home is a must, but that usually means your bill is going up during those months from excess air conditioning use! But using these tips, you can keep the house cool without having to crank the AC 24/7.
- Switch your thermostat to “auto.” This will keep your AC from running constantly, which runs up your bills at the same time!
- Close the doors and windows when you have the AC on. It’s just letting out cool air instead of keeping it in if you don’t!
- Clean your AC’s air filters. This should be done monthly to make sure there isn’t any build up that is blocking more air form coming through.
- Close any vents that are going to rooms that aren’t being used. It’s silly to cool a room no one is using!
- Block out the sun. Purchase shades, drapes, and blinds to protect your home from the inside, and use awnings to protect from the outside! You can also decorate your home by hanging curtains that are lightly colored so you’re getting natural light while also blocking out the sun.
- Use your ceiling fans. These guys are an easy way to cool a room without having to run any AC. Make sure they are spinning in a counter-clockwise direction to get the cool air. I personally made the mistake by not doing it, and was wondering why the living room was always hot!
2. Heating Your Home
After braving the winter weather, you’ll surely want a warm home. Just as air conditioning can be expensive when run excessively in times of need, so can heat. Try these tips and feel the warmth, without paying for it.
- Try to keep your thermostat between 68-70 during the day and 65-68 during the night. This will keep the house warm, without overdoing it!
- Close the flue to your fireplace. This will keep the heat in, and not allow it to escape through any openings.
- Change your heating system filters every month so that they can continue to run proficiently.
- Decorate! Invest in rugs or carpeting to help retain the heat. Bare floors just make it colder, especially when you’re just waking up and have bare feet!
- Use the sun, and keep windows and blinds open so that you can naturally heat your home with the sun’s warmth – if there is some sun that is!
3. Light Up Your Home
Keep your energy bill low by just the turn of the light switch! Or even by changing out your light bulbs.
- Turn it on, but only when you’re there. Don’t leave lights on for ghosts! If you’re leaving the room, make sure you’re turning off the lights as well.
- Replace your standard light bulbs, especially halogen bulbs, with compact fluorescent bulbs, ask CFL bulbs. They don’t get as note and use less energy,
- Use light colored lamp shades to get more light out of them (darker shades give off a darker light) and try placing in the corner of rooms so the light reflects from two walls.
4. Maximize Your Appliances
Have you ever thought about how much energy you’re using when cooking and running the dishwasher and also doing laundry? A LOT. As useful as kitchen and laundry appliances are to the everyday household, they also require a lot of manpower (or energy-power) behind them.
- Give your oven a break for the night and instead try to use your microwave or toaster oven to heat up or cook your food. They both take less time to heat, meaning less energy than an oven would use.
- Turn off your kitchen vent fans when you’re done using them. There’s no need to keep those loud things running once you’re done cooking!
- Keep your fridge temperature between 30 and 42 degrees. And on that note, keep your freezer full – it will use less energy than it would if it was empty.
- To save water, set your dishwasher to economy mode.
- Also, consider turning off your dishwasher after the wash mode, and instead let your dishes air-dry. This not only saves energy, but also keeps the kitchen from getting over heated.
- Be sure to keep your oven door closed when cooking. Every time you open the door, the temperature can drop.
- When the weather permits, try grilling outside more. It keeps the heat out of the house, and requires minimal energy, Plus, it’s delicious and easy to clean up!
- To keep your dryer running efficiently, clean the lint filter before every load.
- If possible, try to hang-dry clothes rather than using the dryer. This will save energy, and avoid any shrinking!
- Avoid doing small loads of laundry. If you do a small load, make sure your washer is set to a low setting so it doesn’t use an excess water.
5. Power Down Your Electronics
As fun as your electronics are, they are also costing you if you don’t power down and unplug correctly!
- When it comes to battery chargers, unplug them once you are done charging. This will save you from having the chargers continue to use power – even if there isn’t anything charging.
- Use power strips. They are great to plus your stuff into and then turn off when you’re not using them! Try plugging your TV, DVD players, game counsels, lamps – anything that isn’t set on a time into the strips and when you leave for the day turn the strip off!
These easy, yet impactful energy saving actions will make a great difference in your life, your bills, and most importantly – your planet!
Ever wonder how eco-friendly you are? Take our fun environmental quiz and find out how green you really are!