Taking steps to reduce your home energy use is good for the environment and good for your wallet. Too often, however, we get discouraged by the scope of the task. It doesn’t have to be this way! Making a commitment to improving energy efficiency isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Through a combination of strategic actions and investments, you can make your home a greener and more livable place. Here are four ways to get started.
Improve the Seal
A well-sealed home is your first line of defense against energy waste. Leaks and drafts not only make your home less comfortable, but they also drive up your utility bills and put more strain on your furnace and air conditioner, causing them to wear out faster.
Improving the seal in your home can include both little steps and major renovations. Start by replacing the caulking and weatherstripping on your doors and windows and sealing up areas where piping or other fixtures come through walls. More ambitious projects can include insulating your attic or installing high-efficiency windows.
A thorough home energy audit can identify areas where work is necessary and where investments will deliver the best long-term benefits.
Upgrade Your Appliances
Home appliances such as your HVAC system, washer, dryer, dishwasher and fridge all contribute to your monthly energy use. Today’s appliances — particularly ENERGY STAR®-rated models — are far more efficient than those of a generation ago. If you’re concerned about energy consumption, replacing aging appliances is one of the best long-term investments you can make.
New appliances will only deliver the performance you require of them if they’re properly maintained. If you’re purchasing new appliances, be sure to familiarize yourself with their ongoing service requirements and arrange regular checkups from a qualified technician.
Solar power is an excellent way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Most people don’t realize solar offers a range of options at various levels of commitment.
A large standalone installation can eliminate your reliance on fossil fuels entirely. A grid-tied system can still improve the efficiency of your home, lower your bills and in many cases, give you the option of selling excess energy back to your utility company to recoup your installation costs faster. Even a small investment in a solar water heater can have a tangible effect on your energy use. Get in touch with Bright Eye Solar to start exploring your options today.
Make Energy Conservation a Daily Activity
Ultimately, energy conservation starts with the people in your home. None of the above renovations or improvements will matter if you aren’t more conscientious about how you use electricity. Start adopting proactive habits — such as turning off the lights when you leave a room or waiting until you have a full load before running the dishwasher or laundry.
Every little step you take will add up and have a positive effect that’s arguably more important than any one-time investment in new technology.