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10 Clever Hacks to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

jacquelinebuch profile picture
Jacqueline PaumierGuest Blogger
June 26, 2016 · 2k Views

Don’t you just love those through the roof energy bills? No, you don’t, because none of us do. In addition to high bills, no one really feels good about leaving a t-rex sized carbon footprint for our kiddo’s kiddos. While biking to work and car-pooling may help solve the problem, it doesn’t take care of what happens at home where nearly 50% of energy usage occurs, yikes. In fact, the average household spends $2,200 annually on energy bills, isn’t there something better you could put that money towards? The good news is saving energy doesn’t have to require a lot of time or an expensive investment, just follow our top 10 energy hacks to save big on money and electrical use.

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1. Have your home checked by a professional.

Source: Energy.gov

Call your utility company and request to have a home energy auditor come by. A home energy audit (or a home energy assessment) will help you analyze how much energy your home uses, and in what form. By being armed with this information you can easily start taking the right measures to make your home more energy efficient. There may be minor problems in your home revealed by the audit that once fixed can help save you a great deal of money.

2. Pay particular attention to your water heater.

After your heat and air conditioning, your water heater uses more energy than any other appliance in almost all homes. While you can help reduce the use of water by taking short showers, or turning off the faucet while brushing, you can also install some low-flow showerheads that will give you the same pressure but with the use of air rather than water, drastically reducing our water usage. You will also want to pay attention to the temperature on your water heater. Most water heaters are set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, way too hot for human skin. Adjust the temperature to about 120 and save in the process.

3. Do fewer dishes and less laundry.

Source: Business Wire

I bet we have your attention now! Half filled laundry machines and wasted water from hand washing dishes is a major energy problem. Try leaving the work to your dishwasher so you don’t waste the water yourself, just be sure that you never run the dishwasher unless it is completely full. The same rule applies for the laundry. Hold out on washing a load for as long as you can to ensure you are using a full washing machine and not wasting any water in the process.

4. Replace your lightbulbs.

It’s time to step into the future! Replace old energy-chugging light bulbs with newer LED(Light Emitting Diodes) light bulbs.  LEDs are small, extremely energy efficient and long lasting, all of which save you money. In fact, the lifespan of an LED light bulb can last up to 60,000 hours (over 7 years) and use much less energy, up to 90% more efficiency. They are also considered the safer option when installing light bulbs in your home.

5. Unplug it.

Source: Modernize

It’s a major misconception that just because your device is powered off, you aren’t using any electricity. That’s completely wrong. Up to 75% of the electricity being held to a household, devices occurs while they are turned off. If you don’t need it, unplug it. Another option is to purchase some smart power strips which keep power from running when devices aren’t on or on standby.

6. Check your windows.

When was the last time you checked the fit of your windows? While they may not receive much attention from you, windows that aren’t properly installed or don’t fit all the way can let go a great deal of heat, costing you a hefty amount on your energy bill. Even if you installed the windows yourself, time and weather can make a once solid window frame a total energy waster. Try looking into different window materials like vinyl, which fit window frames better than the majority of other materials and are better insulates.

7. Light a fire.

Source: Twin City Fireplace

Give your heater a break and get romantic! By using your fireplace not only are you saving money on heating costs, but you are also creating the perfect atmosphere for you and your loved ones.

8. Clean out those vents.

We know, it’s not exactly exciting, but cleaning out HVAC vents and ducts can not only save you money but can keep you safe. The ducts can easily be cleaned out with specialized blowers, vacuums, and brushes. It would be particularly wise to have your ducts cleaned if you have recently undergone a renovation, have had animals nesting in the ducts, signs of mold growth, or unexplained allergy-related illness. Aside from these reasons, ducts can be cleaned out once a year. Make sure to always replace your filters according to manufacturer’s guidelines.

9. Buy smarter appliances.

Source: The Verge

More and more appliances are being created to be more energy efficient, and without price tags much higher than their standard models. The next time it’s time to replace your appliances, look for an energy-star certified models. He Energy Star Certification is only earned if the company has achieved the highest standards of energy efficiency.  Also, consider installing some extra energy savors like a Nest thermostat or internet-connected appliances that link to an app. These options can be programmed to monitor themselves, or can be linked to your phone so you can turn them off even when you aren’t home.

10. Choose fresh air.

Open windows and try and make the most out of cross ventilation, slip into some shorts and a tank top, enjoy some ice cream, even turn on a fan! There are plenty of ways to fight the heat before finally turning on your air conditioner. Besides, with time your body will naturally begin to adjust to the temperature, making you less aware of it.


jacquelinebuch profile picture
Jacqueline is a modern day gypsy, who has lived in several countries and has traveled to over 20. A sucker for all things pleasing to the senses; her world revolves around food (any and all food), foreign indie films, and salsa music. The first to jump off a waterfall and the last to say no to sushi, she has been described as a bit of an “extremist”. In her perfect world, no one ever spells “cool” as “kool” and Ryan Gosling has more tattoos. She enjoys spending her free time in her New Orleans home with her Cubano guitarist husband and 1-year-old son.

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