With innovation and modern technology progressing as fast as it does, it’s no wonder that there are more and more options for an energy efficient home. Reducing the energy costs is a great way to save on the costs of owning and maintaining a home. Making energy-efficient enhancements to your home can help you save on your utility costs and also be eco-conscious. Take a look at a few upgrades that can certainly help around the home.
Install a “Smart” Thermostat
Having a programmable thermostat lets you better control the temperature in your home and use less energy for heating and cooling. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature to reduce energy use during off hours when you are not at home or are sleeping. Proper use of a smart thermostat can save the average homeowner close to $200 a year.
Get a New HVAC System
If your furnace and/or air-conditioning system are older, they likely don’t operate at optimum efficiency. Installing a new HVAC system that is Energy Star-qualified can save the average homeowner about $10 a month on heating and cooling costs. You want to make sure that your new system is properly installed by a licensed HVAC technician, because improper installation can reduce your systems efficiency by nearly one-third.
Make Efficiency Improvements to Your Existing HVAC System
If you don’t have the thousands of dollars needed to buy a new HVAC system, there are a number of upgrades you can make to ensure your existing system works at peak efficiency. These include replacing your air filter once per season, getting an annual system tune-up –with help from Comfortable Home Systems and sealing your heating and cooling ducts.
Install Energy-efficient Lighting
One of the easiest and cheapest green home upgrades you can make is to replace old inefficient light bulbs with newer, more-efficient ones. CFL light bulbs cost anywhere from $3 to $15 but save anywhere from $30 to $80 in energy usage over the life of the bulb. With most bulbs, you recoup the cost within the first year of usage.
Seal Up Your Entry Points
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average home loses up to 20 percent of its warm or cool air through improperly sealed doors and windows. Caulking cracks around windows and adding weather stripping around your doors can greatly reduce the amount of air that escapes to the outside. Other places where air can escape that may need to be sealed up are areas around chimneys, ducts and switches and outlets.
Energy-efficient upgrades can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, but they almost always recoup their costs and more in reduced energy costs. Consider making these changes to your home and stop spending money on wasted energy. Your wallet and the environment will be sure to appreciate it.