8 Steps to an Energy Smart Home
One of the most financially smart and popular decisions right now is to make energy-smart changes to your home. You’ve probably been slowly seeing solar panels go up on your neighbor’s roof. This is a great new way to cut down on energy expenses and to help keep the environment clean and healthy. While this is one of the most obvious energy-smart decisions you can make, there are several other smaller changes that you can make around your house to cut costs and help the environment flourish. Here are some tips to cut your energy costs this summer and make your home smarter!
1. Go LED
If you haven’t already done so, switch to LED light bulbs only. Switching just five bulbs can save you $65 a year in energy costs. This switch is easy to make because these lightbulbs are at every home department store around.
2. Plant Some Trees
If your house has lots of west-facing windows, you’re getting loads of sunlight each afternoon, and that’s forcing your AC to work harder. Plant some trees or shrubs in front of these windows to lower your energy consumption. You can even plant some fruit trees so that your future self can save even more money at the grocery store. Some great trees to plant in your yard around this area are orange, lemon, and avocado trees.
Paper Birch tree. Check out this website to learn about the best trees to plant in your front and/or backyard for the best shade.
3. Rethink Your Roof
Dark-colored roofs absorb heat and work your AC unit harder. Consider adding an approved coating to your roof that will deflect heat. It’ll reduce your roof’s temperature by up to 60 degrees and trim your AC use by 20%. Think about how much cooler you will be in the summer without having to bump up your thermostat to an unreasonable number that might break the bank!
4. Get Smart
Install a smart thermostat. Your home will be programmed to cool off at exactly the times you need. Some of the best brands are Ecobee, Google Nest, and Honeywell.
Google Nest Thermostat. If you're interested in learning more, click here.
5. Keep Your Cool
Run large appliances, like your washing machine and dishwasher, at night. This way, they won’t warm your home in the daytime heat. This will also give you more time to enjoy those long summer days outside instead of being stuck at home doing chores!
6. Fix Leaky Windows and Doors
Sealing leaks can cut your energy costs by as much as 30%. Check external doors and windows for leaks. Reseal all leaking windows by weather stripping the problem areas and consider replacing your door sweep. This quick and cheap fix will also keep those nasty summer bugs out of your house throughout the summer.
Leaky Window. To learn more about how to fix a leaky window, click here.
7. Pull Out The Plug
Cut vampire energy costs by pulling the plug on unused appliances and electronics. This includes devices that you don’t think about too much such as your microwave, toaster, coffee maker, and all of those hair tools that you or your wife use every morning.
8. Go Cold
90% of the energy used when doing laundry comes from heating the water. When possible, choose the cold setting on your washing machine to reduce your energy consumption. This is also a great tip for fitted clothes, such as women’s clothes, that tend to shrink in hot or warm water. You can even take it a step further and handwash your laundry in a sink or tub! It conserves a lot of energy and can save you money.
Washing laundry in the sink. If you want to learn how to wash your laundry by hand without damaging your clothes, click here.