Improving Your Home’s Efficiency

For many individuals, home related expenses add up to be their largest monthly cost. From utilities, repairs, mortgage payments and more, being a homeowner can feel a bit like a money guzzler, and unless you’re a billionaire, you’re probably always looking for ways to cut costs.

Improving your home’s efficiency can save you a good chunk of change when it comes time to pay bills. Check out our list for tips on how to make your house as energy efficient as possible.

  1. Insulation

Remember as a kid getting scolded by your mom or grandmother for running in and out of the house because you were “letting out the bought air.” Well, they were definitely on to something. Homes that aren’t well insulated allow heat to seep out in the winter, or in, in the summer, which means your home’s heating and air units must expel twice as much energy to heat and cool down the home.

  1. Window and door upgrades

Like with bad insulation, old faulty windows drive up your energy usage. Replacing them with energy efficient models, or adding weather-stripping or storm windows for a lower cost option, can save energy and costs.

  1. Plant Trees

Landscaping with your home’s efficiency in mind can help you save money and energy usage. Planting trees on your home’s west facing side allows foliage to protect your house from infrared radiation that warms up your home in the summer. During the winter, once the branches are bare, the same radiation can come through and help heat your home.

Related: Landscaping ideas that can make your home more secure

  1. Trade out your light bulbs

Compact florescent lamps, or CFLs, use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Yes, CFLs may cost a few dollars more than a standard incandescent bulb, but the electricity it takes to light the bulb costs way more than the actual light bulb. A CFL lasts 10,000 hours and uses 27 watts to generate light; for the same amount of light it would take an incandescent bulb 100 watts, and only lasts 1,000 hours. You may be saving pocket change in upfront costs, but switching to CFLs will cost you less than a third of the costs annually of incandescent lights.

  1. Purchase a programmable thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat can save you an average of 10% on your cooling and heating bills. That 10% adds up quickly and after a few months, the new unit will have paid for itself.

  1. Upgrade air and heating units

Energy efficient heating and cooling units go hand in hand with well insulated and sealed interiors. If you have one without the other, you’re still overworking your houses energy use. An outdated furnace or HVAC system can waste a large percentage of fuel, so installing a newer model could save you up to 27% on heating bills.

  1. Water heaters

You can increase your water heater’s efficiency by turning the temperature down to 120 degrees so that it’s set at its warm setting. Also, insulating your water lines can keep them from cooling off at a faster rate between uses. If you recently installed a new water heater, many of these things are standard and maintain their own temperature and cooling for better efficiency.

Put these tips into practice, and increase the efficiency in your home in no time! For information on maintaining energy efficiency in your home, check out our blog post on solar panels.