Have you ever thought about how your home plays a role in our environment? From your lightbulbs to your washing machine, the way you utilize these appliances can benefit or harm the planet.
It can get pretty challenging to keep tabs on all of your home habits, so we’ve mapped out the top home energy efficiency tips and home designs to keep you on track. Let’s dive in.
Why Energy Efficiency Is Important
Conserving energy isn’t just about being a good person—the daily choices you make can contribute to carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. Not to mention, they also affect your utility bills.
Just take a look at these statistics:
- Non-renewable fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) provide roughly 80 percent of our planet’s energy.
- Americans pay about $130 billion each year on wasted energy.
- Energy-efficient solutions can help save almost 500 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and $39 billion in energy bills.
5 Simple Home Energy Efficiency Tips
So what are some simple ways we can conserve energy and incorporate better, alternative resources into our homes? It all begins by establishing good habits and upgrading your appliances.
Here are the top five home energy efficiency tips you can start doing today.
1. Don’t Forget to Turn Off Your Lights
Be sure to turn off the lights when you leave a room. Even if you’re stepping out for a short time, make it a habit to switch them off.
Inefficient types of lights, such as incandescent lighting, use only about 10 percent of their energy to produce light—the remaining 90 percent all go into giving off heat. Therefore, save on energy costs by turning off the lights. It’ll keep your rooms feeling cool in the summer too!
2. Upgrade Your Lightbulbs
If you find most of your light fixtures use incandescent lighting, it’s time to upgrade your lightbulbs.
Switch them out for Energy Star certified light-emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL). They use 25 to 80 percent less energy, alleviating costs on your energy bill. Better yet, they last three to 25 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs.
3. Clean Your Gas Range Burners
Over time, the burners on your gas range get clogged, requiring more energy to operate at maximum capacity. Take time to clean your burners with soap and warm water regularly.
In addition, when you’re cooking, cover your pots and pans with lids. That way, they will cook more efficiently and use less energy to get your dinner prepped.
4. Get Ceiling Fans
When you use ceiling fans with your air conditioner, the fans can save you roughly four to eight percent on cooling costs.
Ceiling fans set your room at a cool, more comfortable temperature, helping you conserve energy and money. So if you don’t already have fans, install a few around the house.
5. Install a Smart Thermostat
Upgrading your HVAC system with a smart thermostat reduces the use of energy when you aren’t home. You can program them around your lifestyle to set up an efficient heating and cooling schedule.
Smart thermostats from companies like Nest save homes about 10 to 12 percent on heating costs and 15 percent on cooling costs.
3 Energy-Efficient Home Improvement Ideas
If you really want to take home energy efficiency tips up a notch, look into eco-friendly home improvement ideas. You can use your environment to your advantage to install smart and green-friendly home structures.
Here are three energy-efficient home improvement ideas to consider:
- Solar panels: If you live in a sunny climate, consider installing solar panels on your roof. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, helping you save energy. Better yet, if your solar panel creates more electricity than you need, you can send the extra energy back to the grid. Most utility companies will credit this extra electricity toward your future bills.
- Structural insulated panels (SIPs): If you live up in the mountains where there’s heavy snowfall and high winds, SIPs would do you well. SIPs are walls that have an insulating foam core between two structural facings. Because they keep your home warm, it will help keep your heating costs low.
- Energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system: Homes in humid and hot climates can benefit from ERV. ERV systems consist of vents around the home that get rid of moisture. It also retains cool air to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
For more inspiration on efficient home designs, check out Building American Resources for Energy-Efficient Homes.
Work Towards a Sustainable Future
Creating an environmentally friendly home starts here. If you’re interested in learning more about why energy efficiency is important and how to build a greener lifestyle, visit our Kiwi Energy site page for innovative and natural gas solutions.