With global warming and pollution on the rise, many people are trying to decrease their energy usage to protect the environment. Others are trying to lower their expenses and escape the trap of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Whether you want to minimize your carbon footprint or shave a few dollars off your monthly utility bills, read on for a step-by-step guide to improve your home’s energy efficiency
Slay Energy Vampires
What’s scarier than Dracula? The energy vampires that lurk around your home draining your electricity bill. Many household appliances and electronics continue to suck up energy whenever they’re plugged into an outlet. Slay these beasts by unplugging anything you’re not using or installing power strips you can switch off. You can also upgrade your power outlets to the “safe-plug” type, which not only prevent energy vampirism but also reduce the risk of electrical fires.
Update Your Air Conditioning
Are you still cooling your home with a bunch of old window units? These dinosaurs waste a massive amount of energy, especially if you live in a warm climate. Upgrading to a heat pump system can knock several dollars off your electricity bill in both the warm and cold months. If you’re not ready to install all that ductwork, consider a ductless air conditioning system.
Turn Down Your Water Temperature
Everyone loves a hot shower, but setting your water heater too high turns your tank into an energy sink. Your water heater must maintain its set temperature all the time, which adds up to a lot of electricity over the day. Keeping your water tank around 49 degrees Celsius reduces your energy consumption without compromising your shower or bath. If you have children or elderly household members, a bonus is that this temperature also prevents scalds and burns.
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans look lovely, but did you know that they can also make your home more efficient? Fans create a nice breeze in the summer, which allows you to run the air conditioner less. If you reverse the blade direction, fans can also reduce your energy usage in the winter by pushing the warmer air near the ceiling down into the room.
Although energy efficiency doesn’t have to be expensive, keep in mind that costly investments like efficient appliances can pay for themselves over time with the money you save on your utility bills. When considering a major purchase, do the math first to see how your investment will pan out over time.
Lizzie Weakley, the author of this post, is a freelance writer.