Becoming a homeowner is an exciting step in life, but buying a home is more than just a down payment and a mortgage. Upkeep, maintenance, and utility costs will always be around, so it’s important to know how to cut costs where you can. Luckily, increasing your home’s energy efficiency is a great way to save money and do good for the environment. Here are a few top energy-saving home ideas you can try out.
A great way to reduce energy usage (and costs) is to insulate your home properly. Good insulation means that your home will stay warmer in the winter by keeping hot air inside; in summer, cool air from the AC is trapped inside, so you don’t have to run the AC as long.
When checking insulation, start with the attic; a well-insulated attic will make the most difference in energy efficiency. Then, inspect the walls and ceilings to ensure no gaps around window frames, light switches, or outlets.
Change Your Lights
Did you know that standard incandescent light bulbs lose 90% of their energy to heat production? That means only 10% of your valuable energy is being used to make the light you need. To improve these numbers, try switching to LED bulbs. With these bulbs, heat generation only uses 5% of the energy. That means you’re using less energy for the same (or better) lighting in the home.
A lot of energy is wasted on appliances or electronics that remain plugged in when not in use. Things like laptops, phone chargers, and game consoles use up a lot of energy even when turned off. Cut down this energy waste by unplugging these items that aren’t being used.
Monitor Big Appliances
Large home appliances like the fridge, washer/dryer, and dishwasher are responsible for much energy use at home. Of course, this is mostly unavoidable, but you can still do some things to increase your energy efficiency.
For instance, keeping your fridge temperature at 40 degrees and the freezer at zero will keep your food cold without wasting energy. Also, take care not to overcrowd the fridge. Too many items inside reduces circulation, and they won’t get cold evenly. It goes without saying, but try to keep the fridge doors closed unless you’re grabbing something. Letting the cool air out means, the machine has to work extra hard to re-cool.
As for the dishwasher, only run it when it is full. Rinsing the dishes before loading the machine will also make cleaning easier for the device.
For laundry, clothes will generally wash as well in cold water as hot, so unless someone in the home is sick, choose cold water.
HVAC units use up a lot of energy, especially if you live in a location where you have to run the AC or heating for long periods to be comfortable indoors. A straightforward way to get the most out of your unit is by inspecting and changing the air filter. A dirty air filter prevents air from getting through the system, so the motor has to work extra hard to get it going.
Another idea is installing a programmable thermostat. You can set timers and temperatures, so your AC or heater runs automatically at times you specify, instead of running all the time.
If you’re ready to start implementing some of these ideas, contact Cape Cod Energy Solutions and let the experts help. Our qualified professionals can help you save energy (and money) hassle-free.