Five Simple Energy Saving Pointers
Whether you’ve noticed an increase in your home’s overall energy usage or you’re simply looking to do your part for the environment, we have a few suggestions to help curb energy consumption. While there’s not much to be done about the extra screen time or energy used to keep your home cool on those hot summer days, there are a few simple (and relatively inexpensive) energy saving tricks that can be accomplished without the need for a professional and it can be done in no time at all.
Flip the Switch on Bulbs
If you haven’t already done so, it’s a wise move to replace all conventional light bulbs with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulb options. Be sure to look for LED bulbs that sport the ENERGY STAR label. According to EnergyStar.gov, ENERGY STAR LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs. LEDs emit very little heat; whereas, incandescent bulbs release 90% their energy as heat. LEDs can also last up to 10 times longer than conventional incandescent bulbs. Now take that math and apply it to every light fixture in every room (and garage and front/back porches) and those energy savings will really add up! You may be amazed to learn how many light fixtures you own, between table lamps in the Family Room and Owner’s Retreat, the chandelier above your dining room table, vanity lights in all the bathrooms, pendant lights above the kitchen island and more.
BONUS TIP: While we’re on the subject of flipping switches, encourage family members to get in the habit of turning off the lights when they leave a room. In addition to turning off lights manually, you may want to consider timers or sensors for some spaces – particularly outdoor lights.
Harness the Power
What many Homeowners don’t realize is that when electronics are plugged in – regardless of whether they are turned on – they continue to draw energy from your home. An advanced power strip can change that. A great match for heavily used media rooms, homework zones and home offices, an advanced power strip eliminates energy consumption by automatically turning power off when appliances are not being used.
Dial Up Savings with a Programmable Thermostat
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the simple act of dialing your thermostat up or down 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day from your regular settings could save up to 10% on energy devoted to heating or cooling. A programmable thermostat automates this shift. For instance, in the winter, you may program your thermostat to keep your heater at 68° during the day when everyone is awake and at home, then dial it down to 61° when everyone climbs into bed under the covers. In the summer, the programmable thermostat may be set to 78° when everyone is home, then dial it up higher during bedtime, but not too high that it’s uncomfortable. By having these temperatures and times programmed in, you don’t have to think about it and the savings will be automated.
Made in the Shade
Did you know strategic landscaping can enhance your home’s energy efficiency? The U.S. Department of Energy suggests designing landscaping to take advantage of your local climate. For example, if you live in a hot-humid breeze, you may want to design your landscaping to channel summer breezes toward the home. Those living in cool regions may want to provide clear access to the south-facing windows so they can be warmed by the winter sun. Those in hot-arid regions can use trees to create shade for the roof, walls and windows of the home. And families living in more temperate regions can deflect winter winds with a well-placed collection of trees and shrubs. Several of these tricks can help heat or cool your home naturally, placing less stress on your HVAC system and requiring less energy consumption.
The great news is that all these life hacks can be pursued in several weekends. While they may mark an initial outlay of funds, the savings on your energy bill will offset them in time. If you’re in search of a new home or are considering building from the ground up and energy efficiency is important to you, you may want to consider buying a David Weekley Home. We are proud to offer a wide range of energy efficient home plans in various locations across the country. Need a little more convincing? Read Why You Should Consider Building an Energy Efficient Home.