Reducing your household energy usage is beneficial on multiple levels: you reduce your carbon footprint and your electric bill. Reducing your energy bill might even qualify you for government rebates and tax credits! Here are 5 ways you can reduce your household energy usage.
1. Swap Incandescent Light Bulbs With LED Bulbs
Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume more energy and must be replaced more often. LED bulbs use as much as 80% less energy, provide the same amount of light, and last much longer than the average incandescent bulb. Though LED light bulbs tend to have a higher price tag on the shelf, the energy you save and the longevity of the bulb make the investment pay for itself.
2. Change Your Air Filters on Time
As your heating and cooling system runs, air filters pick up dust and debris. Over time, this accumulation can block airflow and limit the effectiveness of your ventilation system, forcing it to run for longer to get the same results. Changing your air filters regularly limits this energy consumption, saves you money, and makes the air in your home cleaner.
Change your air filters frequently for best results. But how often should you change it? A general rule of thumb is to replace your filters every 90 days. For homes with pets who shed, it is recommended that you reduce that time to 60 days.
3. Insulate Your Home
More than half of the energy usage in homes is attributed to heating and air conditioning. Insulating your home prevents air from escaping, increasing the effectiveness of indoor climate control.
To insulate your home well, check for cracks along your windows, doors, and between your vents and walls. Any open spaces between stationary objects can be sealed with caulk. For moving objects, such as windows and doors, investing in weather stripping is a good choice. Attics and crawl spaces can often be poorly insulated, so be sure to examine those parts of your home as well.
4. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Energy prices are usually highest in the summer, so this is an upgrade that is worth the investment. Programmable thermostats can be set to run at specific times, such as when you are asleep or away from your home. This maximizes the preservation of energy resources. After all, why run climate control if no one is around to feel the effects?
5. Upgrade Your HVAC System
Image via Flickr by User:Colin
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, or HVAC, unit is the system that runs air through vents in your home. HVAC systems are designed to improve air quality and provide a comfortable indoor climate. A large portion of a household’s energy usage is from running this important system. Upgrading your HVAC system to a more energy-efficient model can drastically reduce the energy consumption of your home.
Saving energy is good for the environment and your wallet. Schedule a home performance evaluation with a specialist to determine the most cost-effective solutions to eliminate wasted energy in your home.