Easy Tips to Save Money and Energy at Home
You wouldn’t want to overpay for homeowners insurance coverage that you don’t need, so why would you want to lose money by being careless about your home’s energy use?
Typically, homeowners focus on heating and cooling to save the most money and energy, but you can also make some changes in your own habits and choices to best reduce your overall use of energy. It’s best to approach energy saving for your home as a whole system rather than just focus on one area. For example, if you had the most energy-efficient heating system but you didn’t have good insulation in your home, you’d still be wasting money and energy! So when deciding on what changes to make on your home, first consider and implement changes that have direct impact and are easy to incorporate, and then look for ways that you can maximize efficiency.
Some easy first steps to take to become energy efficient:
• Use power strips to plug in your appliances, and turn it off when not in use
• Turn off kitchen and bath fans immediately after use
• Consider a laptop versus a desktop
• Put your computer on sleep mode rather than running the screensaver
• Unplug any batteries or electronics as soon as they’re done charging
• Use copper-bottom pans and pots
• Match the pan or pot size to the stove top to avoid wasting heat
• Only run full loads of dishes or laundry
• Air dry your dishes and laundry
• Cover your windows to increase insulation and shield sun from coming in
• Wash laundry and dishes with cold water
• Set your A/C to auto
• Closed unused vents in rooms you’re not usually in
• Take shorter showers rather than long baths
If you’re ready to take some next steps to drastically improve the energy efficiency of your home, you can consider some of these suggestions:
• Install ceiling fans versus running your A/C or heat all the time
• Plant trees or shrubs around your windows to help shade from the sun
• Install an A/C with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 15
• Check for household leaks (water faucets, windows/cracks, doors, fireplace)
• Install a programmable A/C or heater console to only cool or heat when needed
• Insulate the first 6 feet of cold and hot water pipes
• Reduce the water temperature on your boiler to 120°F
• Use ENERGY STAR-approved products (light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products
Assess the energy efficiency of your home and see how it measures up:
EPA’s Home Energy Yardstick provides a simple assessment of your home’s annual energy use compared to similar homes. By answering a few basic questions about your home, you can get:
• Your home’s Home Energy Yardstick score (on a scale of 1 to 10);
• Insights into how much of your home’s energy use is related to heating and cooling versus other everyday uses like appliances, lighting, and hot water;
• Links to guidance from ENERGY STAR on how to increase your home’s score, improve comfort, and lower utility bills; and
• An estimate of your home’s annual carbon emissions.
Whether your main motivation for being energy efficient is being environmentally conscious and reducing your carbon footprint or wanting to reduce your monthly home utilities payments, you can do both with a few common sense tricks! Speaking of saving money, get a free homeowners insurance quote today.
Do you have any energy tips? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.