You don’t have to invest in expensive solar panels or new appliances to make your home more energy efficient. Believe it or not, it’s not so complicated to not only lower your carbon footprint but lower your utility bill with a few steps. We can all afford to spend more time caring for the planet, and what better place to start than in your own home?
These 7 tips won’t break the bank, and you can do them yourself. There’s no need to hire a professional as long as you’re prepared to put in a little elbow grease. Achieve better, greener living today with these affordable energy-saving tips to use at home.
1. Insulate Your Home
Your home insulation and sealing will naturally decrease over time. While weather seals are found in areas of your home like doors and windows, these places get a lot of use every day which takes a toll on the seal itself. If you have gaps and cracks in your home, you’re likely letting air escape which will waste cooling and heating costs throughout the year.
You can easily check your own insulation around your windows and doors by looking for cracks and gaps. Another place to check is your attic and basement, which also tend to be overlooked throughout the year.
2. Tax Credits
Did you know you can get money back for using Energy Star windows, doors, weather stripping, skylights, and more? That home renovation you’ve been waiting for might be more affordable than you think. To see if your home improvement qualifies, look into the requirements for the eco-friendly remodeling tax credit.
3. Plan Your Landscaping
What you have outside your home might affect energy saving inside the home. For example, if you plant sturdy, shady trees near windows, you’ll have less direct sunlight that can raise the temperature of your home in the summertime. Similarly, the bare branches in the winter can provide extra warmth in the winter.
You don’t have to be a professional landscaper to make these changes for yourself. Consider which sides of your house face sunrise and sunset. These are the areas that are more susceptible to direct sunlight. From there, decide on native plants that make sense in your region.
4. Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans not only add a layer of style to your rooms but their incredibly useful all year long. Because they only use the same energy of a 100-watt light bulb, they’re more cost-efficient than having your A/C on all the time. Heating services recommend setting your fan to spin counterclockwise in the summer. This way, you’ll get a direct stream of cool air. This can save you big on your electric bill. Similarly, in the winter, spin your blades clockwise for the opposite effect.
5. Paint Your Walls
Did you know that lighter paint colors reflect more light? Darker colors might make your room look cozier, but they also absorb light. Having lighter colors on both your walls and ceilings will not only make your room brighter, but they’ll also reduce the need for higher wattage light bulbs. This is an easy way to upgrade your rooms and save money.
6. Air Dry Your Dishes and Your Clothes
While we all like to open the dishwasher and find our pots and pans perfectly dry, that heat-dry setting might be costing you. It’s easy to air dry your dishes on the counter with an inexpensive drying rack, and you can still run your plates and utensils through the wash setting on your dishwasher.
Similarly, for your washing machine, only use the full load capacity. Don’t blow your energy and hot air down the drain for nothing. Even better, air dry your clothes using a folding drying rack. Not only will you expand the life of your clothes, but you’ll save on energy costs.
7. Cut Bath Time
We all love a relaxing warm bath from time to time, but they might be using more energy than you think. A 7-minute shower uses less water and heat than a standard bath, and you’ll still be able to make sure you’re squeaky clean. While you can still take a nice bath on special occasions, it might be better to stick with showers when you can.
Is your home ready to make these changes? They’re easier than you think, and you don’t need any special equipment. Even small changes in the right direction make a big impact on the world.