Your home is as much a part of your family as every person or pet who lives in it. To live a fully natural lifestyle, this means that you need to ensure that your home is using energy efficiently. Even if you’re among the 76% of organic consumers in the United States who buy organic food for its health benefits, wasted energy in your home means that your family is not as eco-friendly as it can be.
There are a few key ways you can make your home more energy efficient. By implementing these methods, you can lower your bills and help the environment all at the same time.
Check up on your HVAC system
If you live in a warm and humid climate, there’s no getting around having an HVAC system in your home. These essential systems make summers bearable and keep temperatures cool for those who overheat easily. When you keep your HVAC system running at peak efficiency, you can cut back on energy usage and save money on your bills.
Remember to schedule annual tune-ups for your HVAC system. During this check-up, professionals can tighten connections, clean the coils, and remove any dust and debris. Even something as seemingly small as this buildup can result in a 5% loss in your A/C system’s operating efficiency.
Seal the windows
After you ensure that your HVAC system is working as efficiently as possible, you want to be sure that other parts of your home aren’t negating that efficiency. Start by taking a look at your home’s windows. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, your windows should also be able to withstand winds up to 100 MPH. Windows that are more than 15 years old are prone to draftiness, getting stuck in their frames, and creating high energy bills. One solution to outdated windows is to replace them, but that will be a more costly investment.
Luckily, there are a couple of DIY fixes you can try before shelling out the cash for new windows. You can help fix drafty windows by adding weatherstripping around the frames or applying a sheet of shrink film to the windows. Try adding a bead of silicone caulk over cracks in your drywall as well and you may see your energy costs start to drop.
Replace your tech
Most modern homes have a good amount of devices in them. Whether the entire family gathers around a gaming system for family game night or you used a desktop computer in a home office to start your business, which is where 69% of U.S. entrepreneurs start their businesses, you probably have at least one major device that is eating up energy.
If these devices are ones that you use every day, it may be worthwhile to replace them with new models. For instance, laptops use as much as 80% less electricity than desktop computers and run on less energy. By making this small switch in your home office, you can see major differences in your home’s energy consumption.
If you want to take the leap and go solar, you can look to North Carolina for inspiration. They’re already number two in the nation for solar panel installation across the state.
Don’t double-up on appliances
A great way to make your home more energy efficient is to invest in new appliances that are Energy Star-rated. But what do you do with the old appliances? If it still functions perfectly well, you may be tempted to hold onto it. After all, between 71% and 73% of millennials drink wine, beer, or liquor and an extra refrigerator can make an ideal place to store your adult beverages.
Although you may want to keep your old refrigerator or microwave for secondary usage, this will only hurt your overall energy efficiency. An older model of a refrigerator can cost an extra $50 to $150 per year in electricity to keep running, but a new Energy Star fridge may only need $30 to $60 per year to operate. If you’re concerned about storage space, simply purchase the appliance that is big enough for your needs. No matter the size, the newer models will save you much more on energy than hanging onto decades-old appliances.
The possibilities for energy efficiency in your home are practically endless. When you’re looking for these eco-friendly opportunities, be sure to examine your home’s every nook and cranny for inefficiencies. Fixing up even the smallest things can make the biggest difference.