Have you noticed your energy bills creeping upward lately? Between your appliances, all the electronics, the constantly-running air conditioning, and more—it’s easy to see why. By cutting back a little here and adding some features there, you can easily boost your energy efficiency at home! Start with these tips this summer.
Change Your Habits
Some of these problems may come from little things you and your family do on a daily basis. For instance, do you leave your chargers plugged in, even when no one’s using them? Your phone, tablet, and laptop charges are all what we refer to as “energy vampires.” But you probably don’t think this habit is that expensive. If one person leaves one small charger plugged in every day, it’s not a huge contributor toward your energy bill. However, what happens when you leave in two? And your husband leaves in three? And each one of your children leaves in a couple because they forgot to unplug them? Well, this practice can actually account for 10% of your monthly electric bill. So, change this practice and watch the numbers decrease.
You can do the same thing with your thermostat! Adjusting the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees each day equals significant savings over the course of a year. So, don’t forget to change the settings on your way out. Why pay to heat or cool a space you’re not even in, after all? Our tech-savvy readers may also want to look at a smart thermostat, like Nest, which learns your habits and adjusts the temperature accordingly. That way, you’re conserving energy without even trying.
Don’t forget about your water usage, too. Turning off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving can save you hundreds of dollars each year. Much like choosing showers over baths and running cold loads of laundry. When you use hot water, 80% of the associated energy costs come just from heating it up! So, again, dial it back a few notches and watch your savings stack up.
Change Your Hardware
When the small stuff just isn’t making enough of a dent, maybe it’s time to look at your home itself. By switching out some features, you can make a real difference in your energy efficiency—right away! It all just depends on how much you’d like to spend. Again, you can start out with less expensive fixes, such as swapping outdated lightbulbs for more efficient LED options or trading your dated shower/toilet for more modern, low-flow options. Sealing your windows can protect against possible air leaks responsible for some of your energy usage. But none of these will drastically transform your home’s energy efficiency.
Other options, like trading in your major appliances for energy star models, are going to cost a little more, so think of them as investments. Another similar project, especially for older houses, involves adding or replacing insulation. Focus on areas most associated with heat loss, like the attic, and go with eco-friendly materials like foam. Not only will this renovation lower your heating and cooling bills, but also it’ll increase your potential resale value!
If that’s not enough, you may want to look at solar panels as a source of renewable energy at home. Or having the professionals come out to perform a full energy audit. They can provide specific feedback on areas of your home that are contributing to the overall inefficiency, and then suggest ways to address them. Once you have the results, we’re happy to help you integrate them into the original design of your home. After all, the amount you can save with some of these upgrades will more than outweigh the initial cost! Give KCCS Construction a call for a free estimate today.