So you’ve decided to finally do something about your high utility bills? Here’s a list of 5 ways to make your home more energy efficient:
1. Put in a Smart Thermostat (or reprogram your current one)
Heating and cooling your home accounts for up to 50% of your utility bills. A smart thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature in your home when you leave so you aren’t heating or cooling your empty house. A smart thermostat can save a typical household about $180 a year in energy costs, according to the EPA. Most smart thermostats learn from your behavior, reduce energy use during peak hour, and can be controlled from your smartphone
2. Upgrade your windows
Even once you upgrade or reprogram your thermostat, much of the heating/cooling in your home may be escaping because of your leaky windows. Based on estimates from EnergyStar.gov, replacing your old windows could save 7-24% off your heating and air-conditioning bills. Also, new windows are a great way to give your house a more modern look.
3. Switch to fluorescent or LED light bulbs
Compact Fluorescent light bulbs last 8 to 12 times longer than Incandescent light bulbs, and consume significantly less energy. LED bulbs last even longer than fluorescent bulbs, but are generally more expensive upfront. The newer LED light bulbs can change colors and can often be controlled with your smartphone.
4. Replace your current fixtures with low-flow fixtures
Energy Efficiency may be just the excuse you’ve been waiting for to convince your spouse to agree on getting sleek new fixtures. Low-flow fixtures use up to three times less water, making them sustainable, and economical.
5. Change out your appliances
Switching to energy efficient “Energy Star” appliances throughout your home could save you more than $750 over the life of the products according to Energy.gov. For example, Energy Star washers use 40% less energy than conventional washers while also using less detergent. And they’re gentler on clothes, meaning you may just get a couple more years out of that lucky jersey.
If you have made some of the above changes, but your electricity bill is still high, consider investing in solar power. These days, solar power systems often pay off in 5-7 years, and insulate you from future electricity price increases.