There are many reasons why homeowners should learn how to make their homes more energy-efficient. So, what is energy efficiency? On a household level, it’s when homeowners use less energy than they otherwise would to get a job done. This leads to lower energy bills, more comfortable living conditions, and reduced pollution.
Household Energy Efficiency in Utah
In 2019 and 2020, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked Utah 22nd among all 50 states in energy efficiency. This ranking was based on factors such as public benefits of energy efficiency programs, heat and power use at home and work combined, as well as appliance and equipment efficiency standards. According to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a federal research facility, U.S. households waste about 3.75% of energy every year. We can all do better. Check out our 20 amazing tips, from easy and cheap to more expensive, to learn how to make your home more energy-efficient.
Easy Ways to Make Homes Energy-Efficient
1. Mindfully use washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Choose cold water as often as possible and use energy-efficient cycles. Run them at night, especially during warmer months, so they don’t heat up the house. Air dry both clothes and dishes when you can and avoid running half-loads.
2. Set a calendar reminder to replace air filters. Make this the same day you pay your energy bill each month. This is a great way to remember that dirty filters cost you more because they make your heater and air conditioner work harder than necessary.
3. Cook food with the microwave rather than stove or oven. If you do use an oven or stove, turn it off a few minutes before cooking time ends. The food continues to cook, and you’ll save some energy.
4. Take care of your appliances, so they work more efficiently. Make sure there’s an inch of space all around your refrigerator. Clean the coils and replace filters as often as necessary. Descale coffee machines with purified or distilled water. Keep refrigerators full and clean freezers by defrosting regularly. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines and keep refrigerators and freezers at the recommended temperatures.
5. Set your thermostat to 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter. Always adjust temperatures at night when you’re sleeping. Either cover up with some blankets or turn on an overhead fan. According to most studies, lowering your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees during the winter workday can save up to 15% in energy each year. Consider installing a NEST Learning Thermostat which can help save even more energy.
6. Close blinds and shades during spring and summer days. Open them to let the sunshine in during the winter and autumn months.
7. Unplug whatever you don’t use. This includes laptops and printers when not in use. If you’re going out of town, unplug television sets and electronic equipment. Your cell phone doesn’t have to be plugged in all night long, either; it usually charges in just a few hours.
8. Turn off lights and faucets when you aren’t using them. Make it a habit to check lamps and overhead lights whenever you leave a room. Be aware of running water when you’re shaving, brushing your teeth, or drying a dish. Turn off your sprinklers when it’s raining.
9. Dress appropriately, even at home. During the winter, wear a sweater and some socks. During the summer, wear shorts and T-shirts around the house. You’ll save energy and feel more comfortable.
10. Start a compost pile. Find a small area in your front or back yard to put fruit or vegetable waste. It will provide fertilizer for your lawn or garden and save energy that would otherwise go toward waste disposal and more water for yard care.
Moderately Priced Energy-Efficient Tips
11. Seal any cracks, gaps, and leaks around the house. This is especially important in your bathroom and kitchen areas.
12. Choose energy-saving light bulbs. They save you money on monthly bills and last longer than traditional bulbs.
13. Replace older showerheads with low-flow versions. Modern showerheads have a flow rate lower than 2.5 gallons per minute. Older versions use much more.
Spend a Little to Save a Lot for Energy Efficiency
14. Get an annual inspection. Schedule a thorough tune-up for your air conditioner before summer heat waves arrive. Do the same thing with your heater before it gets cold. Only well-running systems work efficiently.
15. Replace your heating and cooling equipment when needed. Look for models with high ratings from Energy Star. You can also get one that allows you to control separate areas in your home to be as efficient as possible.
16. Get rid of older, drafty windows. Install newer models with argon gas-filled panes. This can be expensive but will save you up to 50% on your energy bills.
17. Consider energy-efficient replacements when your appliances break down. Look for a high Energy Star rating and research environmentally-friendly designs. As an example, front-loading washing machines use less water.
18. Opt for a tankless water heater when the time comes. A water heater is one of the biggest energy consumers in your home. A tankless version uses less energy and outlasts traditional water heaters.
19. Get an insert safely and professionally installed into your fireplace. This will significantly reduce energy costs and keep your home warmer in the winter.
20. Improve or replace your home’s insulation. Start with your attic, and be sure to air seal your entire home. Doing this can save up to 50% or more on your heating bill every month.
We Can Help Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient
Look at your family’s small, daily habits and bigger projects like replacing appliances. Each solution saves energy and money. Make a long-term plan while changing what you can as you go along.
Don’t spend more on your energy bill than you have to! Visit our website or call us today at 801.491.8640 for a home performance evaluation.