How Can I Improve My Home's Energy Efficiency?

When it comes to energy efficiency in our homes, we should all have the same goal: improving it. Reducing your home's energy usage is a win-win, as it both saves you money on your utility bills and helps save the environment. That being said, some homeowners might not know how to effectively reduce their energy footprint beyond simply using energy-draining devices less often. Keep reading for a brief guide explaining some of the easiest and most impactful ways to make your home a little more green!

Consider a home energy assessment

If you're serious about taking your energy efficiency to the next level, then you might want to start the process with a professional home energy assessment (AKA energy audit). During this inspection, a skilled evaluator will examine your home from top to bottom to determine where the areas of greatest energy loss are located. For example, the audit may reveal that air is escaping the home through a warped exterior door or an incorrectly installed window. The cost of the audit varies depending on the specific service and the size of your home, but typically sets you back a few hundred dollars. Don't worry too much about the price, as you should be able to easily recoup that money by acting upon the energy issues it reveals.

Regulate heating and cooling

One of the most energy-intense activities in any home is cooling the interior during the summer and heating it during the winter. You can greatly improve the efficiency of these systems by reducing air flow with added insulation and the sealing of cracks in ducts and exterior openings. You should also consider a smart thermostat, which will tailor your HVAC usage according to your schedule.

Replace old appliances and fixtures

I've written before about the massive amounts of water (and money) that many people are letting run down the drain by failing to replace their outdated toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers. Replacing all of these items can save you hundreds of dollars per year in water bills.

Switch to LEDs ASAP

If you are still using incandescent light bulbs, then you are quite literally burning through electricity. Incandescent bulbs get hot as electricity runs through the filament inside the bulb, and that heat both wastes energy and causes the bulb to burn out quickly. Replace all of your traditional bulbs with LED bulbs to reap huge energy and time savings (in the form of fewer bulb changes). Yes, LEDs cost more up front, but they easily pay for themselves by lasting much longer and using much less electricity for the same amount of light.

These are just a few tips that can greatly improve your home's energy efficiency. For more great information about home energy audits and energy-saving strategies, watch the short video below from the U.S. Department of Energy!