7 Tips to Save Energy in Your Home

Whether you’re tired of paying an outrageous amount for utilities or you simply want to reduce your carbon footprint, you should consider reducing your home’s energy usage. It’s a great way to save money while encouraging a greener environment in the process. Here are seven simple tips to save energy in your home.

1- Replace Incandescent Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are the cheapest light bulbs on the market, making them a popular choice among homeowners. Just because they are cheap, however, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best. As explained by CNN, compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs use 20 percent of the energy used by incandescent bulbs and last 12 times longer. Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs consume even less energy. Regardless, you should replace all incandescent bulbs in your home with either CFL or LED bulbs.

2- ENERGY-STAR Appliances

You can also reduce your home’s energy usage by investing in ENERGY-STAR appliances. Washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators and other major appliances touting the ENERGY-STAR logo are designed to consume less energy than traditional appliances of the same type. For an appliance to receive the ENERGY-STAR logo, it must meet certain efficiency requirements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

3- Adjust the Thermostat

Adjusting the thermostat can make a big difference in your home’s energy usage. Statistics show that heating and cooling accounts for 48 percent of all energy usage in the average U.S. home. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), turning your thermostat down by 10 to 15 degrees in the winter or up by 10 to 15 degrees in the summer for at least eight hours a day can reduce your home’s energy heating and cooling expenses by roughly 10 percent.

4- Close Chimney Damper

If your home has a chimney, be sure to close the damper when it’s not being used. Leaving the damper open allows heated air to escape from your home and cool enter to enter. As a result, your home’s heating system will have to consume extra energy to achieve the desired temperature. By keeping the damper closed, however, you’ll prevent thermal energy from escaping and reduce your home’s energy needs.

5- Seal Cracks

When was the last time you inspected your home for cracks and openings? If it’s been a while, you aren’t alone. Most homeowners rarely, if ever, check for cracks. Unfortunately, this results in a poorly efficient home as thermal energy is allowed to escape. With a flashlight in hand, go around your home’s interior and exterior while searching for cracks. Small cracks and gaps can typically be sealed with caulk.

6- Add Insulation

Insulation is your home’s first line of protection against thermal energy loss. Without adequate insulation, warm air will escape during the summer and cool air will escape during the winter.

When choosing insulation, pay attention to the R-value. This metric reflects the insulation’s thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, the better. Insulation with a high R-value offers maximum protection from thermal energy loss, making it a smart financial investment for energy-conscious homeowners. Insulation should be added to your home’s attic, basement or crawlspace.

7- Plant Trees

This isn’t going to offer any immediate energy-saving benefits, but planting trees in the right location can reduce your home’s energy needs in the future. According to the DOE, trees can reduce a home’s energy needs by up to 25 percent. Once mature, it creates natural shade while also blocking the wind. This combination ultimately reduces your home’s energy usage. Furthermore, planting trees promotes cleaner air by filtering pollutants.

You can’t eliminate your home’s energy usage completely. However, following the tips listed here can lower your usage while saving you money on monthly utility bills in the process.

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