Going green means changing your lifestyle to minimize your carbon footprint. Personal habits like using plastic straws have quick fixes, but what can you do about your house? The hours spent bonding with family members at home shouldn’t go against your green standards. This guide will show you how to make your residence more energy-efficient to align it with your sustainable efforts.
1. Start With New Curtains
When you walk up to a window during the summer, you’ll likely feel the air temperature increase. In the winter, that temperature plummets. Extreme heat and cold air permeate window panes because of the thin glass, but the simple act of changing your curtains can help.
Double-layered, sun-blocking curtains form a barrier between the glass and your home. They regulate temperature more reliably than thinner curtains that don’t insulate anything.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat
Turning your thermostat down by 7-10 degrees will save 10% of your annual electricity bill by matching the outdoor temperature. If your home doesn’t have to battle extreme heat with air conditioning or vice versa, it won’t need energy to turn the fans on frequently. Staying a little colder in the winter and warmer in the summer makes an immediate difference in your home’s energy consumption.
3. Check Your Windows
Every window has caulking around the edges to finish the installation with an airtight seal. However, time and weathering will chip it away. Your home may use more energy to cool or heat itself because outdoor air slips in through cracks around your windows.
Hold a flame up to your window edges to see if it flickers. If it does, you’ll know where to re apply sealant. It’s best to do this when your HVAC unit shuts down and your ceiling fans turn off. The flame needs a still environment to reveal sealant leaks more accurately.
Older windows may have extensive sealant or weathering damage. In that case, replacing them will make your home safer and prevent ongoing expensive repair fees. Marvin teams are ready to assist with quick and easy window replacements. Our recent partnership with Marvin as Authorized Replacement Contractors guarantees unmatched performance and durability, so your investment results in long-lasting windows that also make your home more energy-efficient.
4. Change Your Lightbulbs
The next time you need to replace a lightbulb, buy a pack that’s more sustainable. Many people reach for traditional incandescent bulbs, but CFLs use 75% less energy. LEDs also last longer than incandescents by using less electricity. Stick with the recommended wattage for your lamps, and you’ll find a replacement that lights your home without relying heavily on power plants.
5. Upgrade Your Appliances
Appliances should last a good decade or even longer. They’re an expensive purchase that homeowners dread replacing, but you can use that replacement to your advantage. Switch old models with smart appliances that monitor their energy usage with the latest technology.
This would make a significant difference for appliances that continuously need electricity, like refrigerators and freezers. The fixtures would know when to go into sleep mode without spoiling your food.
6. Find New Air Filters
Homeowners should replace traditional air filters every two to three months, but paying a bit more for high-quality filters would make your home more energy-efficient. Better filters last longer, which allows your HVAC unit to function efficiently. When it doesn’t have to work twice as long to circulate air through clogged filters, it will use less energy.
Upgrading your air filters may mean paying more, but only for a few times each year. You’ll save money, reduce your energy consumption and breathe cleaner air by going green.
7. Get an Energy Audit
If you’re not sure where to start with your house’s carbon footprint, you can audit its energy usage. Anyone can do this at home by forming a checklist. Record places to check and tips to remember, like:
- Locating air leaks
- Checking your insulation
- Inspecting your HVAC system
You can also hire an expert to inspect your home more closely. With or without their help, you’ll investigate how your house consumes electricity and figure out ways to reduce your levels.
8. Install Solar Panels
Solar panels remove the issue of electricity altogether. While it is estimated that polluted air is the cause behind 7 million deaths each year, using a renewable energy like solar power is one way to help curb the pollution crisis and create a sustainable home/
Your home could function solely on sunlight, but no one should do this kind of installation on their own. Hire a team of professionals to add solar panels to your roof and disconnect you from the electricity grid. They’ll do it right the first time and avoid dangerous situations.
Some homeowners may shy away from this idea because they don’t like the price tag. It’s understandable, but you’ll also benefit from a federal tax credit that rewards people for using solar energy. You’ll get part of that installation cost back in your pocket when you file your annual return.
9. Update Your HVAC Unit
Older homes often use outdated HVAC units. They’re supposed to last at least 15 years, but that means your system likely uses technology from over a decade ago. It might consume more electricity than you’d like just because of its design.
Updating your HVAC unit comes with multiple benefits. You won’t need to worry about it breaking down during extreme cold or hot weather because it’s brand new. It will also make your home more energy-efficient because newer models include green technology. Find one with a planet-friendly guarantee to minimize your carbon footprint.
10. Replace Your Desktop Computer
Desktop computers are an affordable way to connect your family to the internet without buying individual laptops, but they also need a massive power supply. Replacing your desktop computer with a laptop will reduce energy usage by 80%, depending on which model you buy.
Compare different laptop models and inquire about how much electricity they’d need. You’ll find a new computer that meets your needs without drawing on energy like older desktops do.
While you take note of how much electricity each laptop needs, compare battery models as well. If you only need to charge your laptop once a day, the battery will utilize that electricity without wasting it. Extended life is just one way to make better use of the energy that even the greenest laptop needs.
Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient
You can make your home more energy-efficient with these simple tips. Make a quick change by switching your curtains or schedule a bigger renovation with a professional team. No matter how you decide to go green, the environment will be better off because you made energy-conscious lifestyle changes.
Rose writes on home improvement and renovation projects. She is also the managing editor for Renovated. To read more of her work, check out her site.