Every day, homeowners across the globe commit to making their homes more energy-efficient. The growing climate crisis has put sustainability at the forefront of modern living, and taking steps toward green energy usage is crucial to the future of our planet.
Not only do energy-conserving houses take steps to preserve the environment, but they also save homeowners some serious cash. That said, cutting down on your monthly energy bill is well worth making a few simple lifestyle changes.
If you still aren’t convinced of energy-efficient living’s tremendous value, the government offers considerable tax incentives for homeowners making energy-efficient improvements. Simple switches like installing solar panels or updating appliances are eligible for tax credits covering 10% of their cost.
Making sustainable improvements to your home starts with small, everyday changes. Consider these five tips for creating an eco-friendly abode.
Consider making the switch to a small home
Downsizing on square footage is the ultimate way to reduce your energy intake. Unlike 4,000-square-foot-space, complete with vaulted ceilings, it’s no surprise that tiny homes take less energy to heat, cool, and power. Additionally, a smaller space is also much easier to power with sustainable energy sources like solar panels installed on the roof with ease.
Even homes with little to no insulation use less power than single-family homes. In addition to conserving natural resources, most small houses are built from repurposed materials. Salvaging wood, steel, and other materials from abandoned buildings or construction sites is a great way to cut on building expenses and energy intake. Reclaimed barn doors or even steel roofs also add charm and character to a tiny home.
For those homeowners ready to make the switch to a tiny home, start by shopping for small house plans like these. That way, you can kick your energy-efficient lifestyle into hyper gear by building a small custom home tailored to your needs. In no time, you’ll be capitalizing on the benefits of optimal energy efficiency, manageable electricity bills, and a carbon footprint that’s shrunk three sizes.
Build sustainable habits
Investing in energy-efficient products and appliances surely reduces energy consumption, but so do small day-to-day behaviors. Simple acts like turning off lights and appliances not currently in use or hang-drying clothes instead of using a dryer put you on the path to sustainability.
The most impactful thing you can do to cut down on utility bills is turning down the heat on your thermostat during the winter and cutting down on AC use in the summer. Other energy-efficient habits include keeping the oven door closed while cooking, washing dishes by hand, taking shorter showers, and using an electric kettle to boil water instead of a microwave.
Weatherize your home
Your home is likely leaking cool or heated air through unsealed vents, windows, and doors. Weatherizing involves sealing cracks or openings between these spaces with caulk. Moving objects such as sliding doors and windows can be sealed with weather stripping. Both caulking and weather stripping are quick DIY solutions that offer a return on investment in less than a year.
For optimal energy efficiency, homeowners should take the time to properly seal the attic, as rising heat commonly escapes through unsealed cracks. Weatherizing your home from top to bottom makes a considerable impact on energy efficiency in your home.
Upgrade your HVAC system
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment make up your home’s HVAC system. Heating your home during the winder consumes over 40% of your overall energy use alone. For homeowners residing in colder regions, upgrading to sustainable systems like ENERGY STAR can save up to 12% on your heating bill.
While air conditioning doesn’t monopolize as much energy as heating, it is still worth the investment. As air conditioning is typically integrated with heating systems, it’s best to purchase new units simultaneously to ensure optimum efficiency.
Use smart power strips
Even when electronics are turned off or in sleep mode, they are still using electricity. This seemingly insignificant detail results in significant energy waste, which can hike up your utility bill by $200 annually. To prevent passive energy consumption, install Smart power strips that shut off the power to electronics that are not in use. Smart power strips are affordable and user-friendly. You can even set them to turn off an electronic at an assigned time.
Making sustainable home improvements starts with simple changes. Forming eco-friendly habits like smart power consumption and manual adjustments reduce energy expenses significantly. Of course, more considerable adjustments like downsizing to a tiny home make meaningful improvements to your energy footprint. Whether you’re investing in a new house or upgrading your HVAC system, going green saves you money while saving the planet.