Not all homeowners are going to go out of their way to find methods of saving money around the house, especially if they’re already living well within their means. But no one in their right mind would turn down the ability to save even more in the long run if it cost them little or nothing up front and required almost no effort on their part.
The busy, modern adult might not be willing to go too far out on a limb, but they’ll go a little way. And if you happen to be interested in the prospect of adopting some green living practices, a great way to kill two birds with one stone is to start conserving energy around the house. You’ll find, once you get started, that it’s probably easier than you imagined. And here are just a few simple strategies that could end up saving you quite a bit.
A good place to start is with an energy audit. A professional inspection will give you an idea of where energy waste is occurring in your home. And although the technician who inspects your house from top to bottom and runs tests probably isn’t qualified to make any repairs, he can provide you with a comprehensive and detailed list of areas that could be fixed to create a more energy efficient household.
This might include simple and inexpensive repairs like adding weather stripping to windows and doors or sealing ductwork, vents, and pipes. Or it could hinge on massive upgrades to the insulation in your home. Maybe what you really need to do is clean your HVAC equipment regularly, replace filters more frequently, and finally get around to setting up your programmable thermostat. You never know until you bring in a pro for an overall assessment.
Of course, there are likely plenty of energy drains in your structure that aren’t related to the temperature. For example, if you have yet to start upgrading to Energy Star products you could be spending far more than you need to on pretty much everything in your home that relies on electricity to function. Light bulbs are one good example.
It’s not difficult to replace a light bulb, and if you swap burned out incandescent bulbs for CFLs, you’ll find that they last up to ten times longer and use only a third of the energy of their old-school counterparts. Now imagine the savings that could result from upgrading to Energy Star appliances when your old fridge, stove, dishwasher, microwave, and washer/dryer combo crap out.
Energy Star even approves windows, roofing materials, HVAC systems, and entertainment electronics, so you should have no problem swapping your oldies out for more energy efficient models as needed.
And you can also take the time for simple, energy-saving tasks on a daily basis, like turning off lights and television monitors when you leave a room, powering down your computer when it’s not in use instead of letting it suck up energy in sleep mode, and unplugging your mobile devices when they’re fully charged instead of leaving them plugged in for hours.
You could even take your efforts a step further by understanding Geothermal heating, looking into alternative energy options, and endeavoring to get off the grid completely. But you don’t have to start with full speed ahead. With a few simple changes and a bit of money you can cut back significantly on energy usage, make your home more efficient, and lower utility bills in the process. The fact that you’re doing your part for the environment is just icing on the cake.