Making your home more energy efficient has considerable benefits for both the environment and your pocketbook. Reducing your energy consumption helps protect our planet’s natural resources and minimize pollution, and it helps you cut your total household costs over time. If you are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and your expenses by going green, there are several approaches you can take. Here are four strategies for improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Years ago, solar panels were cost prohibitive for the average American homeowner. Though the upfront cost of installation still remains relatively high, there are several government-funded programs in place that make solar panels more affordable for many consumers. If you’re interested in making your home more energy efficient, consider exploring your options for solar. Shop around at different companies, and find out which programs are in place in your area to help offset the installation costs. Solar panels are a great way to reduce your costs over the long term.
Replace Your Appliances
The majority of today’s appliances are labeled energy efficient. Of course, some are more energy efficient than others. If you’re thinking about replacing one or more appliances in your home, make it a point to shop around and read the fine print. Many times, less expensive appliances will end up costing you more in total energy consumption over time. Consider paying a higher upfront cost for better performance and increased savings for the long haul.
Install New Windows
One of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home is to install new windows and doors. Many older homes are still equipped with single pane windows that let hot and cold air filter through fairly easily. As a result, you end up cranking up your heat or air conditioner to make your home more comfortable during certain months of the year. Installing energy efficient windows and doors can help you reduce outside air flow, keeping your home’s temperatures more consistent and mild through the changing seasons. Specialized retailers like Gilkey window and doors provide a number of energy efficient options for environmentally conscious consumers.
Take Small Steps
Sometimes improving your energy efficiency is as simple as making small changes to your routine. This may mean taking shorter showers, turning off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or doing the dishes, and shutting off lights when you leave a room. Other simple things you can do are unplugging your electronic devices once they’ve fully charged, turning off the television if you’re not watching it, and modifying your heat and air conditioning temperatures by a few degrees. Taking small steps can help you cut your costs and reduce your carbon footprint.
If you’re interested in making your home greener to reduce your environmental impact and save money, there are a number of ways you can do it. Consider exploring your options for solar panels and energy efficient appliances. Think about replacing drafty old windows and doors to minimize your energy consumption through the changing seasons. And if you’re on a tight budget, there are also several small steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Reducing your overall consumption is good for the environment and your pocketbook.
About the author: Alan Hooper is an energy efficiency expert. He writes extensively on the subject for a number of publications. He lives with his wife and three sons in North Dakota.