Making your home energy efficient will not only save you money but will also contribute to helping the environment. Depending on how much of an investment you want to make in your home’s energy efficiency, there are things you can do that are small enough or big enough to fit any budget. Don’t forget to take advantage of the tax incentives are aimed at encouraging energy efficient home improvements. Make sure to see if you qualify for any of these incentives before you start!
Some less expensive improvements you can make may seem so simple you can’t believe you don’t already do it. Try to use your appliances efficiently. When you leave the house for extended periods of time, unplug your devices as they draw small amounts of power even when they are off. Set your water heater in the warm range, which is 120-140 degrees — you may not even notice the difference in your water temperature! Switching from incandescent to LED light bulbs can save on electric bills. These lightbulbs are worth the investment because they last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. This also means changing hard-to-reach lightbulbs less frequently — this is definitely a win for the one changing the bulbs!
Other improvements that will help with energy efficiency may be a little bit more expensive but with the benefit of the possible tax incentives, they may be worthwhile. Most older appliances much less energy efficient. If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, the savings in energy may actually pay for most of the cost of the appliance.
Even larger improvements exist. Although they will cost more, they are worth the investment over time. Solar panels can be installed on your roof to produce own electricity from the sun — an especially smart investment if you live in a sunny location. Replacing windows is a worthwhile investment as well, since this is one of the places in your home where the largest heat transfer is seen.
Finally, make sure that your home is properly insulated. Make sure you are not losing any heat or cooling through your walls or roof, essentially throwing money outside every month. Insulation prevents the cold from getting into your home during the cooler months and help keep the cold air from escaping during the warmer months.
Any effort you put into energy efficiency in your home will pay you back each month, and you will experience the satisfaction of knowing you are doing your part to help our planet.