As energy prices continue to rise, now is the time to make your home more energy efficient. Fortunately, this doesn’t take a lot of time or money. Below are six ways to boost your home’s energy efficiency.
Clean Furnace Filters or Replace with New Ones
If your home is heated by a forced-air gas system, cleaning or changing out the air filter on a monthly basis can save money during the cold months. Cleaning can usually be done with a standard vacuum, and new ones are often cheap. You can choose filters that eliminate allergens from the air.
Use Compact Fluorescents and LEDs
Individual bulbs might not use too much energy, but altogether, an average home spends 11 percent of its energy bill on lighting. However, you can drastically reduce this figure by trading your incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting and LEDs. This reduces lighting energy costs by up to three-quarters.
Install Energy-efficient Windows
Between 25% to 40% of a home’s heating and cooling costs literally go out the window. To save money, you can trade your regular windows for energy-efficient models that prevent drafts and have higher insulation ratings.
Adjust Laundry Techniques
For energy-intensive processes of washing and drying clothes, don’t wash clothes until you’ve accumulated a full load. Use cooler temperatures when clothes aren’t extremely dirty. Empty the lint trap with each dryer load, or better yet, dry your clothes on a clothes line.
Try to Plant Trees Around Your Home
Shade trees can keep your home cool in the warmer months and reduce your energy costs. In fact, cooling costs can be cut by as much as 40% by shielding the sides of your home from the sun’s rays. This is most effective for walls that face the sun.
Ensure that Your Attic and Walls are Insulated
Keeping these crucial parts of the home properly insulated can prevent loss of heating and cooling through invisible air leaks. If your home is old, you’re more likely to have poor insulation in the attic and walls. While you might spend a fair amount on this project, the investment will easily last a long time.