10 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
In a world of 7.6 billion people and counting, we need more land, housing, food, water, and energy than ever before.
However, there comes a point where the more we use, the less resources we have readily available. Greater amounts of toxins and pollutants enter our atmosphere, and more damage occurs to our planet and beyond.
But it all begins with one person in their home environment. That said, how can we make our homes more energy efficient and play a role in keeping our planet healthier for longer?
1. Turn off lights and fans when not in use.
One bad habit many of us have is leaving the lights or fan on when we aren’t even in the room. Sometimes we even have the lights on when we’re in the room but don’t need them on because there is already a significant amount of natural light flowing into the house.
So, get in the habit of switching lights and fans off when you know they aren’t necessary. Leave your blinds or curtains open to allow natural light to flow through during the daytime. Considering removing light fixtures altogether if you never seem to use them at all. Don’t turn on your fan unless you truly need it.
There are now light fixtures and fans that have a timer and will turn off after a certain period of time. This is a great idea if you can only fall asleep with the fan or light on but don’t need it throughout the night. Also to help save energy when it comes to lighting, opt for dimmable light fixtures so that when you do have them running, they won’t be using as much energy.
2. Seal your windows and doors.
If you sense that air is leaking out from around your windows and doors, it would be a wise time to install weather-stripping around the frames. Any cracks or little gaps should be filled in to ensure cold or hot air your home is producing isn’t being wasted.
Extra insulation, especially in an attic, is also a good, energy-efficient idea for ensuring your home’s heating and cooling systems won’t be overworked.
3. Consider getting solar panels installed.
Many have already made the move to getting solar panels. Most will enjoy lower energy bills by doing so. Additionally, you will be proud to be utilizing solar as your source of power for lighting and alliances alike.
However, many are still scared of solar panels, thinking that they are not as reliable as opting for gas or coal for our electricity needs. If you’re curious on the pros and cons of going solar, do some research to learn more.
4. Don’t leave your sink or shower running when not in use.
A really bad habit people have is leaving their sink running when they are in the midst of brushing their pearly whites. Even more so, many of us leave the shower running for quite some time before we get in. Of course, we wait to pop in the shower to give it some time to warm up, but isn’t there a way we can save water? There is.
A solution to the sink scenario is to turn off water while you are brushing your teeth. As for the shower scenario, there are many solutions: opting for low-flow showerheads, showering in warm rather than steaming hot water, placing a bucket under the showerhead while we are waiting for the water to get warmer (and then utilizing that water for other things, such as watering plants), or simply taking shorter showers.
5. Don’t leave the refrigerator or freezer open while deciding what to eat.
Do you leave your refrigerator or freezer open for a significant period of time while you try to find something to eat? Maybe you even leave them open when you’re in the midst of prepping for dinner. Bad idea!
Simply getting into the habit of closing your fridge or freezer when you’re not using it can help save energy and your bill as less cold air will escape, and the internal lights won’t be on as long.
Nowadays, there are refrigerators out there that beep to remind you to close the door. Some refrigerators even have see-through “windows” or a clear door within the exterior door to allow you to find what you want without wasting energy in the process.
6. Switch to LED bulbs.
You may or may not know that switching your bulbs to LED can be a way to save energy and money at the same time. In fact, LED bulbs are not any less brighter than other bulbs, plus they survive longer before needing to be replaced. LED bulbs have other significant benefits as well when compared to other bulbs out there.
7. Replace your yard with a drought-tolerant landscape.
If you have live grass or have non-edible plants that are water hogs, consider having them removed, and replace them with drought-tolerant plants that utilize less water. You will end up with a more efficient yard that is still beautiful. It’s a win-win situation!
Consider the following drought-tolerant plants:
- Palo Verde trees
- Santa Barbara Daisies
- Mexican Redbud trees
- Deer Grass
- Olive trees
- Red Kangaroo Paws
- Ice Plant
- California Poppies
8. Be mindful of your thermostat.
In the winter, even putting down your thermostat just a few degrees can make a difference when it comes to energy usage (and it can save money on your next bill). Unless you live in unusually cold weather, some should only need the heater on in the mornings and late evenings.
As for the summer, it is wise to not amp up your thermostat so that your home is an icebox. Both are bad energy moves. If you’ll just in just one room in the house, consider just having the fan on in the warmer weather.
9. Unplug chargers when you’re not using them.
Here’s another bad habit some have: leaving chargers plugged in when not in use. You may hear some people say you should unplug televisions, toasters, computers, and the like when you’re not using them. These are great tips; however, they often aren’t doable for most people and can easily become tedious.
But we’re talking about leaving chargers plugged in with nothing attached to them. It is understable, while not very energy-efficient, that some would leave appliances and the like plugged in 24-7, but as for chargers not charging anything, this wastes energy – and while not much energy is wasted – anything wasted that can be avoided is wise.
It is also a good idea not to leave your phones plugged in charging at night. While once they are charged, little energy is used, there is still energy being wasted, and not to mention, leaving your phone plugged in for several hours at a time can be a potential fire hazard. We also hear news stories every now and then of individuals getting shocked and injured in the night because they left their phone charging next to them, and for instance, wore metal jewelry on their body, making them easy targets.
10. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water instead of hot water when necessary. Air dry your clothes.
Hot water uses more energy than warm or cold water. If you must wash with hot water, do so. If you must use your dryer to quickly dry your clothes, do so. However, when it’s not necessary, why do it?
Most clothes, blankets, and the like can at least be washed in warm water, if not cold. Also, most items are even better if they are air-dried as sometimes the dryer can shrink our clothes or cause our items to get wrinkled if we do not fold or hang them up fast enough. In turn, we often wash our clothes again or turn to the clothing iron, both not so energy-efficient tasks.
There are more than a handful of ways we can play our part in conserving energy and eliminating waste. From switching to LED light fixtures from Cocoweb.com to unplugging chargers we aren’t currently using, we can all make an impact on our beautiful home planet. Even if you think one person can’t do anything to help, you can. It truly all starts with one person, which can turn into a hundred, then a thousand, and so on.
Apart from helping the planet, you can also receive benefits for going green as you will receive lower utility bills, have a property with a higher resale value, and overall live in a safer, cleaner home. Can’t beat those benefits!
There are a plethora of energy-efficient vehicles, appliances (e.g., refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.), faucets, and light fixtures out there to ensure you can go green effortlessly.