Making the switch to energy efficiency in your home can significantly reduce your utility bills. Tax incentives for installing energy efficient systems can make them even more cost-effective opportunities.
Here are five ways to upgrade your home’s energy efficiency.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats, or programmable thermostats, can display your home energy use, help you find ways to save energy and money, and allow you to remotely adjust your thermostat or turn appliances off.
You can also save up to 10% each year on heating and cooling bills by simply turning back the thermostat 7°-10°F for eight hours a day.
When programming your thermostat, consider when you normally go to sleep and wake up and the schedules of everyone in the household. If there is a time during the day when the house is unoccupied for four hours or more, it would make sense to adjust the temperature during those periods.
Here are some numbers from the U.S. Department of Energy:
Space heating is the largest energy expense in the average U.S. home, accounting for about 45% of energy bills.
Save an estimated 10% a year on heating and cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat.
2. Upgrade Your Kitchen Appliances
Large appliances, such as the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, account for around
13% of monthly utility costs for average homeowners. By updating your kitchen appliances, you can reduce energy costs and increase your home’s energy efficiency. When looking to upgrade your kitchen appliances, look for ENERGY STAR labels and the bright yellow EnergyGuide label that is required by law and displays the appliance’s annual energy consumption and operating cost. And when it comes to the range, remember to go electric!
Numbers by ENERGY STAR:
A new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator is about 15% more energy efficient than the minimum federal standard for refrigerators and can cost you about $50 annually to run. An ENERGY STAR certified freezer uses 10% less energy than a new, non-certified model.
New ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers are 10% more energy efficient and 20% more water efficient than standard models, costing less than $35 annually to run, while saving an average of 1,900 gallons of water over its lifetime.
3. Switch to LED Lighting
Making the switch to LED lighting in your home is well worth the effort. LED lighting provides a huge financial advantage over other lighting options by being far more energy efficient.
Residential LEDs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. This energy efficiency reduces your carbon footprint and helps mitigate landfill waste. LED lights are also mercury free and contain no hazardous materials.
LEDs can also be small and directional, so they are ideal for kitchen lighting over countertops for preparing food and reading recipes.
4. Properly Insulate Your Home
Insulation in your home provides resistance to heat flow, which in turn lowers your heating and cooling costs. Without properly insulating your home, from the roof down to the foundation, you may experience higher heating and cooling costs and overall discomfort.
To choose the best insulation for your home from the many types of insulation on the market, you’ll need to know where you want or need to install the insulation (see image to the right), and what goal you want the insulation to achieve.
Here are some numbers from ENERGY STAR:
Homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs (or an average of 11% on total energy costs) by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists.
By properly insulating your home, sealing air leaks throughout the house, focusing on leaks to the attic space, through the foundation, and around windows and doors, you can achieve a 25% reduction in total air infiltration.
5. Upgrade to a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water only as it is needed. They do not produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters, which can save you money. Tankless water heaters are a fantastic choice for those interested in making the switch to complete electrification in their homes. They also typically have a life expectancy of more than 20 years and have easily replaceable parts that extend their life by many more years. In contrast, storage water heaters last 10 - 15 years.
Numbers by U.S. Department of Energy:
For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24% - 34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.
They can be 8% - 14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water — around 86 gallons per day.
You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27% - 50% if you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet.
If a tankless water heater isn’t for you, there are a number of other energy efficient, electric water heater options. From a solar water heater to a heat pump water heater, there are products available that can meet your home’s specific needs.
Contact our team today for more information about how you can increase your home’s energy efficiency!