No one likes spending money on monthly utilities. With the average electric bill costing homeowners around $104 each month, the more efficient you can make your home, the better!
The more efficient your home is, the less energy you use, and the more money you’ll save every month.
If learning how to make a home more energy efficient has always been on your to-do list, you’re not alone. Most homeowners actively want to make improvements, but they’re not sure where to start.
Here are a few simple ways to make your house more energy efficient every month without breaking the bank.
1. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
Believe it or not, standard incandescent light bulbs aren’t the most efficient option out there. They produce tons of heat anytime they’re on, increasing the temperature of your room. Worse, they draw tons of electricity to illuminate your space.
Instead of leaving them in place, upgrade them with a more efficient bulb. The most energy efficient homes use LED bulbs in all of their light fixtures.
LED bulbs last for years without burning out and put out almost no heat even if you leave them on for hours at a time.
You can do this one bulb at a time, only replacing lights as they burn out. This way, you’ll spread out the cost of the replacements over time. Even better, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint by keeping waste out of the landfill for longer.
This can help you keep your air conditioner from turning on during the warmer months, thereby reducing your electric bill every month.
2. Turn Your Attention to the Windows
Your exterior windows are responsible for the bulk of your home’s energy loss each month. Those big panes of glass let in tons of natural light, but they also let heat in during the summer and cold in during the winter.
If you can, install window tint for houses on all exterior windows. This will help cut down on the amount of heat the natural light generates indoors.
During the winter months, consider covering the windows with thick curtains or window treatments. These window treatments help block the cold and keep it from seeping into your room. Over the course of the winter, you’ll end up saving money on heating costs.
3. Adjust Your Thermostat
When you set your thermostat, you likely try to keep it as close to your preferred temperature as possible. This makes your home more comfortable when you’re using the space.
However, if you leave the thermostat at that setting when you leave for the day, your HVAC system will keep your home at that temperature even when you’re not there. This can lead to tons of energy use over time and, when the weather is bad, can make your utility bills overly high.
Instead of leaving your thermostat at your preferred temperature all day long, adjust it before you leave. Increasing it by just two degrees during the summer and lowering it by two degrees in the winter can save you hundreds over the course of the year.
4. Check Your HVAC Filters Often
Your thermostat isn’t the only thing that can make your HVAC system work harder every day. Your air filters can, too.
Get in the habit of checking your air filters at least once every month. If you notice them getting dirty, replace or clean them as thoroughly as possible.
Clean filters allow the temperature-controlled air to flow from your system to the rest of your house easily. That improved airflow then allows the thermostat to signal the system to turn off as soon as the space reaches your desired temperature. When the filters are dirty or clogged, the system has to work harder and longer to reach that temperature.
By keeping your filters clean, you’ll help your HVAC system work less, saving you money over the course of the year. Even better, it will cut down on the amount of wear and tear the system sees so you won’t have to worry about unexpected breakdowns or frequent repairs.
5. Turn the Lights Off When You Leave
Luckily, there is one energy-efficient home improvement you can make to cut your electric bill without changing a thing about your home: turn the lights off anytime you leave the room.
Get in the habit of pausing by the light switch before you leave the room. If the lights are on, turn them off. If you need to go back inside, you can always turn the lights back on.
This simple change can save you hundreds every year.
If you have a hard time remembering to turn lights off, try leaving a brightly colored sticky note on the light switch plate. This will catch your attention when you leave and remind you to flip the switch on your way out.
6. Be Mindful of Drafts
Drafts, like large windows, can dramatically influence the temperatures inside your house year-round. During a windy afternoon, pay attention to any drafts or gusts you feel around your doors and windows.
Make a note of those locations and seal them up as soon as possible.
If you’re comfortable doing the task yourself, you can! All you need is a bit of caulk to seal cracks and gaps around your doors and windows. If you’re not, you can always hire a general contractor and let them get rid of the drafts for you.
Now You Know How to Make a Home More Energy Efficient
For most homeowners, figuring out how to make a home more energy efficient can feel overwhelming. Keep these key tips in mind and you’ll be able to save money and reduce your carbon footprint month after month.
If you can, implement each tip immediately. If not, start with what your budget allows. Even a single improvement can make a huge difference in your energy use.
Looking for more tips and advice to help you succeed in building an energy-efficient home? Check out our latest posts.