Many people try to save money throughout their lives. They may do this by looking for coupons or discounts, eating out less, or driving a more fuel-efficient car. All these are great ways to save money, but there is one more area where you can save: your home.
Your home is likely the most significant energy user in your life. The average U.S. household spends about $122 a month on energy bills, so making your home more energy efficient can significantly impact your wallet. If you can lower your energy bills, you can free up more money for other things.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that if every home in the United States made some simple changes to improve energy efficiency, we could save enough energy to power more than 19 million homes for a year. Saving power would also prevent the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 17 million cars.
Why is it Essential to Maintain an Energy-Efficient Home?
A home that is energy efficient is essential for several reasons. You will find many benefits with just a few changes. Here are some reasons to maintain an efficient home:
1. Save money
Many people think that making their home energy efficient will be expensive. But actually, it can save you money in the long run. As part of home maintenance, you want to save money wherever you can, and your home is one area where it is possible.
For example, by bringing down your heating and cooling costs, you can reduce your utility bills and have more money to spend on other things.
2. Environment conservation
The less energy you use, the less pollution you create. This is important for the health of our planet. Many people are now more aware of the importance of conserving energy and reducing pollution. Making your home more energy efficient is one way you can do your part to help the environment.
3. Help the economy
Many people don’t realize that making your home energy efficient can help the economy. When you use less energy, you reduce the demand for oil and other fossil fuels. It can help to stabilize energy prices, which is good for everyone. It can also create jobs in the energy efficiency industry.
4. Reduce your carbon footprint
When you use less energy, you produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and cause climate change. So by reducing your energy use, you’re helping to combat climate change.
5. Make you healthier
It’s also vital for your own health. Homes that are drafty and poorly insulated can actually be unhealthy. They can allow mold and dust to enter your home, which can cause respiratory problems. When you make your home energy efficient, you can improve your indoor air quality and reduce your risk of health problems.
What Wastes Energy in a Home?
Your home’s energy efficiency is all about how well it uses the energy that comes into it. Many factors can affect this, and some of them may surprise you.
1. Leaky windows and doors
One of the biggest energy wasters in most homes is leaky windows and doors. These can let heat escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer. This makes your heating and cooling system work harder, which wastes energy and money.
2. Poor insulation
Another big energy waste is poor insulation. This is especially important in the winter when you want to keep heat in your home. But it’s also essential when trying to keep your home cool in the summer. If your home is poorly insulated, hot air will escape in the winter, and cool air will escape in the summer.
Your appliances can also waste a lot of energy if not used properly. For example, your refrigerator consumes more power than your other home appliances. But you can save energy by ensuring it’s properly sealed and isn’t open too often.
Lighting is another area in most homes where energy is wasted because many people always leave their lights on, even when they’re not using them. This costs about $100 a year in electricity bills. Incandescent bulbs are particularly wasteful because they convert most energy into heat instead of light.
5. Water heating
Most people don’t like to think about their hot water heater, but it’s one of your home’s biggest energy users. If you have an old water heater, it may be taking up a lot of energy. About 14% of your home’s energy use goes to heating water.
6. HVAC system
Your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is responsible for a lot of energy use. It can account for about half of your home’s total energy use. Most HVAC systems are energy-intensive because they heat or cool your entire home.
Of course, your electronics also use a lot of electricity in this age of modern technology. Many people have multiple TVs, gaming consoles, computers, and other devices that use a lot of energy. Even when they’re turned off, these devices can still use power.
Your roof can also affect your home’s energy efficiency. If your roof is made of dark materials, it will absorb heat from the sun and make your home warmer. This can make your air conditioner work harder in the summer, which wastes energy and money.
How Can You Make Your Home Energy Efficient?
When looking for how to make home energy-efficient changes, it’s essential to consider the entire picture. Making one change can have a domino effect, so tackling as many home energy efficiency projects as possible is best.
You have plenty of solutions to wasted energy at home, but these are some of the most common and effective:
1. Upgrade your windows and doors
One of the best ways to make your home energy efficient is to upgrade your windows and doors. Energy-efficient windows and doors can help reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. This will make your home more comfortable and can save you money on your energy bills.
2. Add insulation
Insufficient insulation is one of the biggest energy wasters in most homes. Adding insulation can help keep heat in your home in the winter and cool air in your home in the summer. This will make your home more comfortable and can save you money on your energy bills.
3. Use energy-efficient appliances
Appliances are one of the most significant energy users in your home. But you can save energy by using energy-efficient appliances. These devices are designed for less energy consumption and can save you a lot on your energy costs. Home electronics with ENERGY Star labels are some of the most efficient on the market.
4. Use energy-efficient lighting
LED bulbs are much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. They use less energy and last longer, so you’ll save more in the long run. Some people are hesitant to switch to these light bulbs because they cost more upfront. But these energy-efficient light bulbs will quickly pay for themselves in energy savings.
5. Buy energy-saving devices
As more and more people look for ways to save energy, companies are responding with energy-saving devices. These technologies that save energy can help you reduce your home’s energy usage and lower your energy bills.
6. Eliminate phantom power
Phantom power is the energy used by devices when they’re turned off but still plugged in. This can amount to a lot of wasted energy over time. To spend less on your energy bill, unplug devices when you’re not using them. You may also want to invest in a power strip with an on/off switch to turn off multiple devices at once easily.
7. Consider solar energy
Solar energy is a great way to save energy and money. Solar panels can help you reduce your energy costs by generating electricity from the sun. You can also try passive solar heating, using the sun’s energy to heat your home. You can do this with solar windows and solar water heaters.
8. Get a home energy audit
A home energy audit is a great place to start when you want to make your home energy efficient. A home energy audit will show you where your home is wasting energy and what you can do to improve things. Many utility companies offer free or discounted home energy audits.
9. Educate your family and friends
No matter how many changes you make to your home, it won’t matter if your family and friends are still wasting energy. Educate your loved ones on the importance of saving energy. Show them how easy it is to save energy at home and encourage them to make changes in their own homes.
10. Use less energy
Of course, the best way to save energy is to simply use less of it. There are many ways to do this, such as turning off lights when you leave a room, using cold water to wash your clothes, and setting your thermostat to a lower temperature in the winter and a higher temperature in the summer. The less energy consumed, the more you save.
There are many ways to make your home energy efficient. And while some of these changes may seem small, they can add up to significant savings on your energy bill. Every little bit helps when it comes to saving energy. So start making changes in your home today and see the difference it makes. With a little effort, you can make your home more energy efficient and save money simultaneously.