Even minor changes can help contribute to a more energy efficient lifestyle, and it all starts in your home. Not only will a more energy efficient home help the environment, it will also save money each year on your electricity bills and make your home more comfortable year-round. Small actions lead to big results, and you would be surprised at how much of an impact small adjustments can make.
What Does Having an Energy Efficient Home Mean?
Having an energy efficient home means using less energy, with less reliance on fossil fuels. Energy efficiency will save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and even improve the quality of air we breathe.
Many people associate the term energy efficient with spending money or upgrading your home’s systems and features. While investing in energy efficient appliances and upgrades will help, contributing to a more energy efficient home doesn’t have to break the bank. Tweaks in your everyday habits, like using more cold water or replacing your lightbulbs, can make a difference as well.
Benefits of an Energy Efficient Home
We mentioned a few benefits of an energy efficient home, such as cutting back on electricity bills and helping the environment. More benefits include having a more comfortable home environment, eliminating risk of mold and mildew, preventing pests from getting inside your home, and increasing the resale value of your home.
8 Tips for Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
Below are a mix of low-cost tips and features to invest in that will make your home run more efficiently. Homeowners who invest in these green appliances and services will see a return on investment on energy bills, in addition to when it comes time to sell the home.
Get an Energy Audit
An energy audit, or home energy assessment, will give you a comprehensive guide as to how much energy you’re using, alerting you to areas of your everyday life you can cut back on energy usage. It will tell you which areas of your home are running inefficiently and how to improve.
Use More Cold Water
Using more cold water can reduce the amount of energy your household is burning through to run hot water all the time. We’re not suggesting taking cold showers every day but washing your clothes in cold water is a good option to contribute to a more energy efficient home. There’s even laundry detergent available that works best with cold water cycles. Another tip when it comes to water is being more conscious of running water to better conserve it, for example when brushing your teeth.
Upgrade your home’s insulation to make your home run more efficiently and save you money on energy bills. Heat or cold air can escape through windows and doors, which makes insulation upgrades an integral part of heating and cooling your home. Better insulation will keep the cold air out of your home in the winter and the warm air out in the summer.
Energy Efficient Appliances
All appliances have shelf lives, so when that time comes around that your washer, dryer or dishwasher needs replacement, opt for Energy Star certified appliances. This label meets strict energy efficiency specifications set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and uses less energy to run.
Smart thermostats are a great tool to use to control household energy usage to heat and cool the home. Smart thermostats can be programmed to run only during certain times of the day, for example before and after work hours. They can also detect when you’re away, conserving the energy until it senses you’re back home. An added benefit is if you forget to set your thermostat, you can do it remotely from your phone or tablet.
Unplug Unused Chargers
When your cell phone, iPad or devices are not being charged, unplug the chargers to cut back on wasted energy usage. They use up the power when plugged into an outlet, even without a device charging. This is a simple way to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Tune Up HVAC System
Sometimes all your HVAC system needs is a few tweaks to start running more efficiently. Schedule a yearly HVAC system tune-up to make sure all systems are working properly, and energy isn’t being wasted. Making sure the system isn’t working too hard to heat or cool the house will prevent it from using excessive energy to run it.
LED or Solar Lighting
Switch out your standard incandescent bulbs with LED or solar lighting for an energy savings boost. LED bulbs have a longer lifespan and are more energy efficient than the outdated incandescent bulbs. Solar lighting is another green option for saving money and energy, using the sun as a free and renewable energy source to charge your bulbs.
HouseMaster Serving Harrisburg and Lebanon: Home Inspections
At the start of each home inspection, HouseMaster home inspectors present our clients with our exclusive Inspection Resource Guide. Because we know the importance of an energy efficient home, we offer tips on how to be more energy efficient at home in this guide. We urge buyers and sellers to keep up with the regular maintenance of your home and follow all necessary steps to make your home run as efficiently as possible.
Harrisburg home inspectors Dan Ayers and Scott Ayers, like all HouseMaster home inspectors, have extensive training and certifications and are tested annually to meet the industry standards of continuing education, inspection, reporting, and customer service. As part of the oldest and most trusted nationwide home inspection business, Dan and Scott have been able to put their decade long experience in fire and water property restoration and their passion for customer service to good use in the professional home inspection process. Request an inspection today!