Energy saving and living a sustainable lifestyle are très chic right now, but they’re far from a meaningless statement. Reducing household energy use is one of the best ways for individuals to take action against climate change. As a bonus, it can also save you a substantial amount of money on your gas and electric fees.
Want to know how to create a more eco-friendly home? Read on for five tricks that can help you reduce your power consumption today.
- Get Unplugged
This might just be the easiest way to cut back on your energy consumption—and maybe even your electric bills. According to research from the Natural Resources Defense Council, leaving your electronics plugged into the wall uses a substantial amount of power, even when they’re off.
This study sampled a variety of California households and found that a staggering 23% of power usage came from inactive devices. These can include a laptop that’s finished charging, kitchen appliances, televisions, video game consoles, and even lamps.
If you want to avoid wasting power and money, unplug everything you can from the wall when it isn’t in use.
- Be Smart About Energy Saving
Are you still using an ancient thermostat and tungsten lightbulbs? If yes, it’s time for an upgrade.
“Smart” thermostats and lightbulbs are an energy saver’s best friend. They can be set to automatically turn off or lower the heat during the hours when you’re asleep or no one is home. They’re also far less expensive than replacing your HVAC system or electrical wiring.
- Solar Power
Do you live somewhere with a lot of bright, cloudless days? Harnessing the power of the sun is a great way to build an environmentally friendly home and reduce your reliance on the power grid.
Residential solar panel installation isn’t even as difficult or expensive as many people believe. Not only have some solar companies eliminated their down payment requirements, but you may also be able to take advantage of federal and local tax credits once they’re installed. When combined with the massive household energy reduction they offer, these benefits mean that solar panels can eventually pay for themselves.
- Use Energy-Efficient Home Decor
Did you know that the way you decorate your house—namely your windows—can impact your energy bills? If you want to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, window treatments are the way to go.
Opaque blinds and curtains by themselves are both helpful, but they make the biggest difference when combined. During the warmer months, light-colored blinds can reflect the sun’s heat away from your home and help you save on AC costs. During autumn and winter, dark curtains can trap heat and block window drafts to keep your home cozy.
- Good Insulation Equals Energy Conservation
Speaking of drafts; cracks and gaps in your walls and windows are some of the worst energy-wasting culprits. If your home isn’t well insulated, you might as well be paying to heat and cool your backyard.
Excellent fiberglass insulation should be a top priority for anyone building a new home. For the rest of us, spray foam insulation is the easiest and most inexpensive way to improve your house’s temperature retention.
Save Energy at Home With These Tricks
Contrary to popular belief, energy saving at home doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Whether you unplug your microwave between uses or go all-in on new insulation and solar panels, every action makes a difference in the fight for our planet.
For more home improvement and interior design tips like these, be sure to browse through the other articles on our site.