The outside world is finally looking greener, which may inspire you to take on the challenge of making your home greener, too. Little changes can make a big difference when it comes to being more environmentally-friendly at home. And the updates don’t need to be expensive, either (unless you’re looking for an excuse to buy that new electric car). Something as small as a lightbulb can significantly reduce your energy usage, saving you money.
According to energy.gov, lighting costs make up 15% of your electric bill. If you’re still using incandescent bulbs in your house, you are not only wasting energy, you’re wasting dollars. Over $225 a year can be saved by switching to energy-efficient lighting like LEDs in the average US home. You can also save money by turning off lights when they’re not being used (this one may be a tough sell for the kids). It’s an old wives’ tale that turning lights off and on actually takes more money than leaving them on. So flip that switch and save some electricity.
Re-insulating your home is also a big energy saver–and not just in the winter. Having lots of insulation between your home and the outside world keeps the house cooler during summertime. If you want to go bigger, replace your current appliances with more efficient ones that can really bring down your electric bill. You may also be eligible for tax credits if you install these types of appliances. New windows and doors can qualify, too! Just be sure to check with your tax preparer if you’re buying in the hopes of also getting a deduction.
During the heat of summer, run a ceiling fan to make it feel degrees cooler in your room–just be sure to have it running counterclockwise to get the best effect. Close your blinds during the hottest time of the day so that the sun doesn’t heat up your rooms as much. And turn the thermostat up during summer nights while you sleep, to reduce how much electricity you’re pumping into air conditioning. The U.S. Department of energy says that keeping your thermostat at 78 is a “sweet spot” for both comfort and energy savings. Pair that with a ceiling fan and a margarita and we believe you’ve earned an energy star!
If finding a new or more efficient home is on you do-to list, contact us to help you find a house that meets your needs–whether you’re looking for solar panels or all new energy-saving appliances. Trust our experience to guide you through the buying or selling process!