How to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

As energy costs continue to rise, homeowners will be looking for ways to save on their monthly utility bills. Here are a few ways you could increase your home’s energy efficiency without sacrificing comfort.

1. Adjust the temperature on the thermostat.
Just a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter could bring significant savings on a monthly basis. Don’t go too extreme, but see what temperature is bearable to everyone in the home during the various seasons.

Lowering the thermostat by seven to 10 degrees for eight hours per day can help save 10% per year on heating and cooling costs.

2. Install low-flow showerheads.
Low-flow showerheads reduce the amount of water used in a typical shower without impacting your ability to wash up. They increase water pressure while decreasing water use.

3. Seal the windows.
Insulation is key to retaining heat in the winter and keeping cool air from escaping the home. Check the windows, doors, attic, and walls of the home and be sure to seal cracks. Consider installing two- to three-paned windows for an extra layer of insulation, as well as security.

4. Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth.
This one is simple. Homes waste many gallons of water by simply letting clean water go down the drain. Train yourself — and the kids — to turn off the water when not actively using it.

5. Replace incandescent bulbs.
These old light bulbs consume a lot of energy and waste it by emitting heat. Choose LED bulbs, instead.

6. Unplug unused chargers.
If you have a cord plugged into an outlet, electricity is being sent to the cord even if the device or appliance isn’t being used. Unplug phone chargers and other electronic devices when not in use.

7. Avoid using hot water to wash clothing.
Avoid running small loads of laundry and switch to warm or cold water in the weather.

8. Conduct an energy audit.
An energy audit will uncover inefficiencies and help you take the right steps to lowering energy costs. Consider working with an energy auditor to evaluate the home’s current efficiency.

9. Invest in ENERGY Star rated products.
ENERGY Star rated appliances, like dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, and dryers are designed for energy efficiency. They may cost more upfront but will bring significant savings over the long run.