Making one’s home energy efficient not only helps in preserving the environment, it is also good for the wallet. Making a home efficient may include small tasks like turning off lights and may range up to big steps like installing home solar panels. While some tasks may cost you a hefty amount once and some others may come free, something that is certain is that all of these steps will help cut down energy consumption and electricity bills.
Insulate Walls and Ceiling
A well insulated house requires less heating in winters and less cooling in summers. Using new or additional insulation on the walls and attic would prevent heat from going out in the winters and would trap the cool air from the air conditioner inside during the summer.
Windows are a major source of heat loss in a home. If the windows are not efficient and are leaky, heat flow inside and outside the home are not regulated. You may change the aluminum frames in your windows to vinyl ones, tint the windows or use newer types of panes that save energy.
Shift from Incandescent Fluorescent Lamps
Changing all the incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) can help largely reduce the energy consumption. The fluorescent lamps may have a higher initial cost, but they would soon recover the cost through energy savings. CFLs also last eight to ten times longer than the incandescent bulbs.
Make the Furnace Efficient
After the windows, the furnace is another source of high heat loss. Replacing the old furnace with a high efficiency one that is available these days can boost one’s energy saving efforts. There are a number of furnace fixes available, including a programmable thermostat, which can be used to turn on the furnace at pre-programmed times.
If possible, a couple of trees should be planted around the house. The trees would provide the home with much needed shade that would prevent it from getting too hot in the summers. In the winters when the tree is bare, it would allow warm sunshine to enter the home.
Fix the Water Heating System
Another major source of energy consumption is the water heating system. As the first step to using the water heating system efficiently, turn the temperature setting of the heater down to the ‘warm’ setting. Insulating the water lines that carry the hot water also goes a long way in reducing energy consumption.
Use Solar Energy
Installing home solar panels can reduce your electricity bills by as much as 50% depending on the size of the installation. Besides reducing the electricity bills, installing solar panels can also help in preserving the environment as they help in reducing the carbon footprint as well as reduce pressure on the non-renewable source of energy. Also, you may be entitled to subsidies by the government if you use solar panels at home.