Every year, American homes waste 61% of the energy they consume, and the average American spends more than 10% of their income on utilities! That translates to $130 billion in wasted energy each year.
While those numbers may sound scary, they represent a great opportunity for us to make a positive impact on our environment AND utility bills with some really simple changes to our homes and routines.
Here are the 5 easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient:
Switch to More Energy Efficient Lighting
According to energystar.gov, you can slash the electricity you use for lighting your home by up to 70% just by switching from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) Even better, CFLs only cost about $1 more per bulb and last years longer than an incandescent bulb.
Light-emitting Diodes (LEDs) can save you even more in the long run because, according to Consumer Reports, these bulbs can last anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 hours before they need to be swapped out!
Insulate Your Home
By making sure your home’s insulation levels meet the latest recommendations issued by the Department of Energy you can cut down on your personal energy usage and enjoy a more comfortable home environment all year round.
Aside from preventing energy loss, using fiberglass insulation to maintain proper insulation levels in your home have an added environmental benefit: Reducing landfill space. Fiberglass insulation manufacturers use more than 1 billion pounds of recycled glass per year, resulting in a savings of over 26 million cubic feet of landfill space.
Replace Older Windows
Replacing those drafty windows in your home can save you hundreds of dollars per year on your energy bill, while shrinking your carbon footprint by up to 6,000 pounds, according to energystar.gov
Replacement windows with a low-e coating will keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter by filtering the sun’s long wave radiation, which lowers the burden on your HVAC system. Replacement windows treated with a low-e coating also help to prevent fading on furniture and carpeting inside the home by preventing UV rays from entering your home.
You can even take advantage of a Federal tax credit program when you purchase Energy Star rated replacement windows for your home. These tax credits are available to homeowners who purchase replacement windows and doors and cover 10% of the purchase, up to $500.
Weatherize Your Home
Air leaks around windows and doors can account for up to 30% of an older home’s wasted energy. Weather-stripping and caulking around these areas can help you realize up to 10% in energy savings.
These two steps are very simple to complete with inexpensive products from your local hardware store or building materials retailer.
Add a Storm Door
Investing in a new storm door can cut heat loss in the entryway to your home by 50%. Storm doors achieve these energy savings in two ways; by creating a first barrier to weather, reducing the effect of air leaks from the door, and by reducing heat conduction through the existing door by creating an insulation air pocket.