Energy Saving Tips and Renovations for 2016

Posted by on February 25, 2016

With the new year well under way and spring right around the corner, now is a great time to take a long look at how much energy your home is using. Even if you’ve taken steps to improve your home’s efficiency, you may be surprised at just how much energy is used every day. Taking steps to better track and reduce the amount of energy you use can leave more money in your wallet and reduce your overall impact on the environment, so here are a few great tips to reduce waste and boost your home’s energy-efficiency.

 

Get Smart

 

The advances in home automation over just the last few years have been incredible, and few things are more beneficial to your home energy usage than a programmable smart thermostat. A Wi-Fi-enabled programmable thermostat offers several benefits when it comes to energy savings, but the most important is the ability to automatically dial down the heating or cooling when you’re not around..

 

Consider Window Treatments

 

You may not realize it, but your home’s windows can have a major effect on how much energy you use. Energy is transferred much more readily through windows than solid walls, and controlling that flow of energy is a key to boosting efficiency. This can be done with various window treatments such as blinds, drapes, awnings and window films. To reduce cooling costs during warm weather, consider installing light-colored blinds or thermal drapes to reduce the amount of solar heating inside your home.

Buy ENERGY STAR

 

Another common source of wasted energy is aging or outdated appliances. Manufacturers have made great strides in improving the energy-efficiency of many appliances over the last decade, and smart consumers know to look for the ENERGY STAR label when shopping for new appliances and electronic devices. ENERGY STAR represents an international standard in energy efficiency, and devices bearing the distinctive seal have been tested and certified to use less energy than their non-labeled counterparts.

 

Maintain Your Heating and Cooling Systems

 

It should come as no surprise that heating and cooling often represents the biggest share of home energy costs, but it may not be obvious just how much energy is wasted by poorly maintained heating and cooling equipment. You should make a habit of regularly inspecting, cleaning and replacing components such as air conditioner filters and evaporator coils, heater filters and furnace combustion chambers. Some components may also benefit from regular inspections and cleanings by a trained professional.

Watch Your Water Heater

 

When it comes to energy usage, the humble water heater is often a silent killer. Few people recognize just how much of their energy costs can be attributed to their water heater. Fortunately, there are several energy-saving steps you can take. Perhaps the simplest step is to ensure your heater and associated pipes are well-insulated. Specially designed water heater blankets can be wrapped around your water heater to boost efficiency and cut down on energy costs, and insulating sleeves are available for any water pipes you’re able to access. Another simple step is turning down the thermostat.

Take On Solar Power

 

Renewable energy has become a significant part of the world’s energy supply in just the last few years, accounting for nearly 22 percent of all global electricity generation as of 2013 and steadily growing (learn more). Doesn’t it make sense, then, to take advantage of the abundant renewable energy of solar power for your own home? The possibilities are almost endless, but a popular place to start is with solar roof panels. These panels harness the solar power of the sun to generate clean, renewable energy. Depending on your particular circumstances, this can slash or even eliminate your usage of traditional energy. In some cases, you may even be able to sell excess power back to your local utility company!

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The world may be slow to adopt long-term solutions to the threat of climate change, but you can certainly do your part to reduce your energy usage and protect the environment. Even better, you can save some serious money in the process. As these tips show, even seemingly small changes can make a big impact on the amount of energy your home consumes. By being more conscious of where that energy goes and how it can be better used, you can do your part to make the world a little greener.

 

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