One of the biggest advantages of living in these modern times is having the benefits of technological innovations at your disposal. With all the smart tech, efficient transportation, and useful upgrades and apps, our lives are not only easier, but they’re also more efficient. By living a greener life and making daily eco-friendly choices, we can greatly contribute to preserving our environment, both for ourselves in the present and for future generations.
If you’re thinking about making these changes, but you’re still not sure what to do and where to start, here are several steps to take in order to make your home greener and more energy-efficient.
Adding or upgrading your home insulation is a serious investment, but it is the one that will give you the biggest ROI. As it does have higher initial costs, you can decide to go with partial insulation and do the attic and basement first, since these are the most vulnerable spots in a house. After that, you can gradually expand the coverage and insulate the entire house.
Good-quality windows and entrance doors are also very important for energy conservation, especially during cold winter months. So, consider replacing your windows with double-glazed ones and possibly add a storm door as an extra layer of protection to both your entrance and side doors. These doors can lower your energy loss up to 50%.
One of the best and most budget-friendly upgrades you can do is switching from traditional light bulbs to LED lighting. Their initial costs may be slightly higher, but they last significantly longer and use only 5% of energy for heat production and 95% for producing light. They waste less energy and are more cost-effective due to their durability. Since an average home uses around 40 bulbs, replacing them with greener bulbs will greatly save electric power and reduce your power bill.
When it comes to your water usage, by implementing small changes, you can save around $170 per year. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, don’t run your washer half empty, and also avoid running it with hot water. Opt for warm or cold water washing programmes whenever possible, since 90% of energy is used to heat the water and only 10% to operate the machine.
Another water-saving trick is to install low-flow showerheads. With their low water flow rate, they use less than 2.5 gallons per minute, which cuts your water consumption in half compared to regular showerheads.
The choice of your electrical devices and appliances is what greatly determines the extent of your energy consumption. In order to be fully energy efficient, you need to keep them clean on a regular basis, especially the oven and microwave, since extra energy is wasted to heat any residue dirt or food. Among other things to consider when choosing energy-efficient appliances, you should always opt for the ones with the Energy Star mark. These products meet the required energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. They also consume 10-50% less energy than standard appliances and by that, they significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
One of the largest energy consumers in your home is your heating/cooling system. With a traditional HVAC system, your biggest concern should be a regular maintenance. Make sure the filters are regularly cleaned so the system doesn’t work overtime to achieve the desired results. Make it a habit to lower the temperature on the thermostat at least by one degree and even more when you are not at home. This drop in temperature by 3 to 4 degrees can greatly lower your energy consumption and reduce your bill, up to 15% per year.
Whether it’s just a few minor changes or some major upgrades, any kind of change can make a big difference regarding your carbon footprint and energy consumption. Being green and energy efficient nowadays is easier than ever and there is a little something everyone can do to preserve our environment.