Whether you want to pay less for your utility bills or you want to protect the environment, there are various ways in which you can save energy throughout your home. Some of them are more intensive than others, but they all warrant a look.
Adjust Your Daily Behavior
To save energy you don’t necessarily have to buy special products. You can simply turn things off when you’re not using them or perform some of your energy-intensive chores manually (e.g. hang clothes to dry, hand wash dishes). One of the best things you can do here is turn down your heat and use your AC less. If you try these things and still don’t know where all the energy in your home is going, you may want to use an energy monitor to find other ways in which to save energy.
Replace Light Bulbs
Traditional incandescent light bulbs use a lot of electricity and you must replace them more frequently. With LED, halogen incandescent, and CFL’s you’ll use 25 – 80% less electricity and they last 25 times longer too. Of course, you’ll pay more for them, but they’ll ultimately cost less money in the long run.
Use Smart Power Strips
Phantom loads (the electricity your electronics use when turned off or in standby mode) waste a lot of energy – about 75% of your home’s energy or about $200 per year. By using a smart (a.k.a. advanced) power strip you’ll eliminate this problem because your electronics are turned off when not being used.
Install a Smart Thermostat
These thermostats automatically turn off when you’re asleep or you’re not home. This is a great way to reduce your costs and save energy when you don’t need it and yet still be quite comfortable. Typically, a programmable thermostat will save you about $180 per year. Besides fitting your schedule, programmable thermostats can tell you when to replace your filter, which will also make your HVAC system function more efficiently.
Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
Appliances will typically consume about 13% of your home’s energy, which is why the next time you’re in the market for new appliances you shouldn’t only look at the purchase price, but you should also look at the annual operating cost. While energy efficient appliances typically cost more to purchase, they typically cost 9 – 25% less to operate. You’ll notice these appliances because they’ll be marked with an Energy Star label – a federal guarantee that you’ll save energy.
Save Money While Heating Your Water
This is another major factor for your energy consumption. There are several things you can do here, including:
- Buy an energy efficient water heater
- Use less hot water
- Turn your water heater’s thermostat down
- Add insulation to your water heater and the first 6 feet of its pipes
Install Energy Efficient Windows
Windows don’t save energy. In fact, they waste a lot of it. In total this accounts for about 10 – 25% of your utility bills. You can prevent this by replacing single-pane windows with double-pane ones. You may also want to add storm windows to save an additional 10 – 20% of your home’s energy. These are especially helpful in regions that frequently experience extreme weather events. Living in Florida, you’ll also want low-e coatings on your windows since they’ll help reduce heat gain by reflecting the sun in such a way that less thermal energy enters your home. Windows with these features can save you $20 – $95 on your utility bill each year. By adding awnings, shutters, window shades, and screens you can save even more.
This is also an area whereby adding insulation to your home and taking some simple weatherization steps, you’ll be able to save even more money here. As such, when you’re upgrading your windows, you should consider these things too.
Choose an Energy Efficient Home
Vitale Homes offer energy efficient features in all of their homes. Learn more at Vitale Difference, you will see the extra steps, such as the above industry-standard insulation, air ducts direct return and supply, foam injection in the block wall, Vitale takes with every home. While you can still practice many of these other tips, you won’t need to be as hard on yourself if you buy one of these homes. Everything about them is energy efficient with your comfort in mind so when you’re ready, schedule a time to discuss building your very own Vitale home.