28 Easy Tips to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient All Year Long
We can always do more to improve our home’s energy efficiency. This checklist will prepare you to adopt energy efficient practices at home all year long.
Recently we covered some simple ways you can go green at work and make your office more energy efficient. Simple practices like shutting down computers at the end of the day and turning off office lights can save you on energy consumption and operating costs. The same can be said for your home! We’ve rounded up 28 ways to make your home more energy efficient starting today and lasting all year long.
Even the smallest daily adjustment can make a big difference in the long-run. Switching to energy efficient habits does not have to be an overwhelming process. There are many simple tasks that can turn into daily habits for making your home operate more efficiently:
- Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms or when you leave the house.
- Unplug appliances and electronics after use like coffee pots, hair driers and especially phone chargers; phone chargers are one of the biggest culprits of energy vampires, drawing electricity even when they’re not charging anything.
- Adjust the thermostat temperature to be 10-15 degrees cooler when you are asleep or away during the day. For the average 8 hour day you are away from your home, setting your thermostat back could help you save 10% a year on heating and cooling bills.
- In fact, consider installing a programmable thermostat that can do the above for you!
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to a warm setting (roughly 120 degrees).
- Take advantage of heat from the sun this winter. Keep drapes and blinds open during the day for south-facing windows. Close at night to keep the cold out.
- Use smart power strips which save power by automatically shutting down a product to standby mode when it detects a drop in an appliance’s power consumption.
- Turn off your computer monitor or put it on sleep mode when you know you’re not going to be using it.
- Only run full loads of laundry. Your machine will use the same amount of mechanical energy no matter how full the load is.
- Run laundry loads on cold water as up to 90% of a laundry machine’s energy is used to heat water.
- Make an effort to take quicker showers to save on hot water consumption and costs.
- If your home has baseboard heaters, keep furniture at least 3 inches away in order to let the heat better circulate to the room.
In addition to the daily tasks you can do to make your home a little more energy efficient, here are some projects that you can plan on completing this month:
- Schedule a servicing for your heating and cooling system.
- Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed.
- Check what maintenance is needed for your fireplace so it is ready to operate for the fall and winter with minimal heat loss.
- Cover drafty windows with a heavy duty plastic film to keep the cold out during the winter.
- Weatherize windows by applying caulk or weatherstrips to seal air leaks.
- Consider using timers for outdoor and accent lighting.
- Switch out incandescent light bulbs for more energy efficient ones like CFLs and LEDs.
- In the market for a new home computer? Opt for a laptop as they use 80% less energy than desktop computers.
- If you use window air conditioning units, make sure to remove them for the winter. Weatherize these windows with appropriate coverings, caulking or weatherstrips.
Looking to make even more long-term home adjustments to increase energy efficiency? Here are some long-term options to keep your home energy efficient all year long:
- Schedule an energy audit so you can see what utilities are draining the most energy and costs.
- Upgrade outdated appliances to Energy Star appliances.
- Make sure your walls and attic are well insulated. Effective insulation will help with heat loss in the winter and heat entering the house in the summer.
- Plant shady trees and large bushes near windows to provide shade in the summer.
- Install reflective coating on your roof to help with cooling in the summer.
- Consider installing solar panels. Solar panels will increase the value of your home, will be a source of clean energy and will help you save on roughly 15-20% on electricity costs.
- When leaving the house for a long vacation, power down and unplug electronics and appliances. Also turn down the thermostat to 55 degrees.
How are you making your home more energy efficient? What tips would you add to this list?