As a homeowner, it’s important to research ways you can make your home more energy efficient. There are a variety of steps you can take to ensure your home is running efficiently, such as purchasing energy-efficient appliances, getting solar panels, or inspecting your home for energy-saving opportunities. You can even engage in smaller acts, like turning off lights when you leave a room, taking shorter showers, and filling up the sink and washing dishes instead of letting the water run.
Implementing these tips and tricks can help you identify the specific steps and resources that may help you create an environmentally friendly household.
One way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to replace outdated kitchen and laundry appliances with “smart” ones. The older your appliances get, the less effective they become, and the more energy they tend to drain. When making your decision, consider the following:
Whatever it may be, look for the ENERGY STAR certified stamp to ensure you’re not only buying quality appliances, but ones that help the environment too. Some benefits you can look forward to when purchasing smart appliances include cutting home electricity costs, the ability to schedule laundry and dishwasher cycles for when your electricity rates are the lowest, turning off and controlling your thermostat with your smartphone, getting notifications if there are issues with your appliances (for example, if the refrigerator door is open).
Another investment you could make is purchasing solar panels for your home. Solar panels are not just better for the environment but better for your wallet too. They are a great way to generate electricity and solar thermal energy for your home. Solar panels may provide an opportunity to decrease how much you are spending on your monthly energy bill.
There are a variety of ways to finance solar panels. Some financing options are a solar loan, funding programs like the PACE program, PPA, EEM Program, or a solar lease. You could also purchase them with your credit card, use money from your savings account, or look into other financing alternatives, like a personal line of credit. Talk with your financial institution about what options work best for you. Oftentimes, you can find loan offers from the company installing the solar panels, or see if your current banking institution offers other traditional loans.
Walk around and inspect your home and see where you could make some other changes. You may find that you're getting a draft from doors, windows, or your attic. Maybe even consider having an energy audit of your home done. This will allow you to have an expert’s advice on what steps you should take to increase your home’s energy efficiency. You’ll also be able to learn about where you are wasting the most energy within your home.
While inspecting your home or after the energy audit is complete, you may find that your home would benefit from changing out light bulbs for LED ones, programming your thermostat to a lower temperature for when you are not home or asleep, installing new windows to prevent air leaks, checking faucets around your home, installing low-flow showerheads, revamping your attic’s insulation, and/or upgrading your HVAC system if it has some years on it. Make a priority list so you can create a timeline for the projects you’ll need to complete and stay organized knowing what project comes next.
Efforts to be more energy efficient can be made in small ways too! Get the whole household on the same page and consider these smaller acts to decrease the amount of energy you use:
No matter what you do to better your home’s energy efficiency, know that even the smallest changes and actions make a difference!