12 Ways to Make Your Home Energy Efficient
April 17, 2023
Improving your home’s energy efficiency may seem like a small step toward a sustainable future, but it’s a move that comes with big environmental impacts. That’s because energy efficiency plays a pivotal role in lowering greenhouse gases, according to the International Energy Agency.
So, this Earth Day—and every day—use these strategies to make your home energy efficient.
1. Program your thermostat.
Smart thermostats like EcoNet® will automatically adjust your home temperature based on your schedule. For example, EcoNet® ’s geofencing feature can detect when you’re not home, adjust itself and heat or cool the house accordingly. You can also schedule your home temps before an extended stay away and monitor it all from your smartphone.
2. Seal your windows.
Heat gain and heat loss are responsible for 25% to 30% of heating and cooling energy use—and therefore cost as well. When you seal air leaks around your home, you can save up to 10% on your annual energy bills, according to ENERGY STAR.
3. Change your air filters.
Regularly changing your air filters not only ensures that they are clean but also that your HVAC doesn’t have to work harder and use more energy to move air throughout the house.
4. Consider a water heater blanket.
If your home has a non-tankless traditional water heater, a water heater blanket can prevent heat from the water transferring to the air around it. Water heater blankets are not required by code, but they can make a big difference in the efficiency of a water heater, and therefore also help lower your electricity or gas bills.
5. Add a radiant barrier to your attic.
Once heat enters the attic, it’s just a matter of time before it travels through the rest of the home. A radiant barrier is a building material typically made of a reflective material, such as aluminum, that reflects heat and reduces heat transfer. Adding a radiant barrier to your home will prevent heat from getting into the attic and the rest of your home, which means your air conditioner can run more efficiently and will not have to work harder to keep the house cool.
6. Close your blinds.
Sun coming through open windows can bring unwanted heat into a home and make your HVAC work harder to keep it feeling comfortable. Closing blinds or curtains during peak sunlight can prevent heat from entering.
7. Use cold water when possible.
No one wants to take a cold shower, but using excess hot water increases energy usage in a home. Consider washing clothes and running the dishwasher on a cold water setting to minimize hot water usage.
8. Unplug your electronics.
It may seem simple, but unplugging your electronics can have a big impact on energy use. Studies estimate that 75% of the electricity use to power home electrics is consumed while products are turned off.
9. Switch to energy-saving lightbulbs.
The U.S. Department of Energy says that replacing just five of your home’s most frequently used lights with energy-efficient lightbulbs can save you $75 a year in energy costs. Imagine what replacing all of your home’s lightbulbs could do to decrease energy usage!
10. Turn on fans.
Cooling your home using ceiling fans will help you lower energy while maintaining overall home comfort. In the bathroom especially, turning on fans while you shower can also help suck out the humidity and heat from your home.
11. Don’t skip regular maintenance.
Regular maintenance checks are an opportunity to check the health of your home system. From making sure your home is operating at peak performance to energy efficiency, regular maintenance will catch any potential issues before they turn into big problems (and costly nightmares).
12. Make energy-efficient investments.
If you’re looking for a new HVAC system, energy-efficient equipment can lower energy use and increase cost savings. Because of the Inflation Reduction Act, installing a high-efficiency unit can also come with additional tax credits and rebates. Look for the ENERGY STAR seal to ensure you install a sustainable HVAC system and other appliances and electronics are working efficiently throughout your home.
Ready to take the first step toward home energy efficiency? Find a Pro near you to schedule a maintenance check or talk to an HVAC contractor about how your home can run more efficiently.