Home energy consumption makes up about 90% of the energy consumption in the United States. Despite what you may think, you can actually make a considerable difference in this energy consumption by reducing your personal usage and encouraging others to do the same.
If you're not sure where to start, there are a lot of small changes you can make that will make a huge impact. With just a few lifestyle changes, you can reduce your energy usage and save on energy bills in the process.
Read on for our guide on cheap ways to build an energy efficient home.
Insulate Your Attic and Crawlspace
If you're looking to build an energy efficient home, start by tackling the spaces you don't use as often. While you may not enter your attic or crawlspaces regularly, you might be surprised by how much they're harming the insulation in your home.
Adding or replacing insulation materials from this website can trap climate-controlled air inside your house. That way, you'll be running your systems less and likely saving a bundle on your energy bills.
Winter-Proof Your Home
Your home is the most susceptible to high energy consumption in the winter months. You can tackle this and build an energy efficient home by finding smart solutions to keeping the cold air out.
For instance, buying shrink wrap kits for all your windows can make a huge difference, especially in the really drafty areas of your home. Sealing out the drafts can help the room stay warmer, allowing you to run the heating system less often.
Although it may be tempting, try to avoid using space heaters in the winter. Despite being a good way to use less heat in your home, these units actually use a stunning amount of electricity.
Upgrade Your Windows
Just like your attic and crawlspaces, your windows might be letting in more air than you realize.
Even though it may seem like a hefty investment, replacing your windows can dramatically reduce the energy consumption in your home. Newer models are incredibly efficient and can pay for themselves over time by cutting the costs of your bills.
While you're at it, installing a storm door can also do a lot when you're trying to build an energy efficient home. As an added bonus, you can swap out the glass for screens during the warmer months when you want to bring in the outdoor air.
Turn Off Lights and Electronics
This one seems like a no-brainer, but many of us don't think about turning off lights and electronics when they're not in use. In fact, you could be wasting a ton of energy without realizing it.
Make a habit of turning off all the lights in the unoccupied rooms of your home and encourage everyone you live with to do the same. It might be a bit of a struggle at first, but you'll soon be doing it without having to think.
You should also keep an eye on your electronics and turn them off when they're not in use. Even something as small as turning off your computer monitor can make a major difference as you build an energy efficient home.
Stop Wasting Water
Here's another one that you've probably heard before, but it bears repeating: if you're trying to build an energy efficient home, stop wasting water. There are lots of ways to do this and every small change can really add up.
For instance, turn off your sink when you're not actively using it. This includes while you're brushing your teeth, soaping up your hands, and scrubbing your dishes. If you're not using the water to rinse, then shut it off.
Another way to build a water and energy efficient home is by switching to showers instead of baths. Try to keep your showers around 10 minutes or less, if possible. If you're really looking to save water, turn off the water between shampoos.
Get An Audit to Help Build An Energy Efficient Home
An energy audit involves hiring a paid contractor to come and inspect your home for things that might be impacting energy efficiency. Although it's an extra expense, they might be able to point out some major causes of energy loss, helping save you a bundle over time.
Buy New Appliances
Modern "Energy Star" labeled appliances are extremely energy efficient and can help slash the energy use in your home. If you're still using outdated appliances, it may be time to upgrade.
Washers and dryers are the biggest offenders in this situation. Although they can be costly, they can be a major help when you're trying to build an energy efficient home.
Another energy-sucking appliance is your dishwasher. By replacing it with a newer, more efficient model, you can noticeably decrease your home's energy efficiency.
Fix Up Your HVAC
Just like your appliances, running an old HVAC system could be costing you a lot in energy bills. When you're trying to build an energy efficient home, this is something you should definitely address.
If you're on a budget, or if you have a newer system, you should still get annual tune-ups to keep it going. That way, your HVAC system will run more efficiently for longer so you can avoid a costly replacement.
Switch to Fluorescent Lighting
If you haven't done so, now is the time to replace the incandescent bulbs in your house. Although they may cost extra, they use considerably less energy and last longer than ordinary bulbs. If you're looking to build an energy efficient home, this is an absolute must.
Plant New Trees
Planting trees is one of the top ways to be environmentally friendly. But did you know that they can also help with the energy efficiency of your home?
During the hot summer months, the shade from trees in your yard can help filter out the sun and keep your home cooler. In the winter, they lose their leaves, allowing sunlight to come through and keep your home warm.
Although it requires some lifestyle changes, there are a lot of things you can do to build an energy efficient home. Now that you have some ideas, start making those changes today!
For more home ideas, check out our blog.