For the New Year, how about making resolutions you can actually do, like making your home more energy efficient? It isn’t necessary to invest a lot of time and money to make a difference. Little changes such as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs add up. Here are some simple, inexpensive measures that you can take to ensure your home remains energy efficient, warm, and comfortable.
Install programmable thermostats
Investing in a programmable thermostat allows homeowners to monitor the indoor temperature of their home remotely via a smart phone or online. By keeping the temperature low when no one is home and programming the thermostat to increase the temperature when everyone is home, annual heating costs can be reduced anywhere between 5 and 15 percent, according to the U.S Department of Energy (DOE). The same principle can be applied during summer months to help save on cooling costs.
Replace air filters
Replacing the furnace's air filter every three months can also help create a more comfortable environment; a clogged filter can reduce the unit's overall efficiency and lifespan.
Weather strip and caulk doors and windows
For less than $100, weather-stripping for windows, a door sweep strip and some caulking can help fill any air leaks to limit energy loss.
Install low flow shower heads
For maximum water efficiency, select a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm. Choose from two basic types of low-flow showerheads: aerating and laminar-flow. Aerating showerheads mix air with water, forming a misty spray. Laminar-flow showerheads form individual streams of water.
Use auto turn-off power strips
Smart power strips automatically turn off electricity to all the things you don't need. The new generation of power strips has quietly evolved to confront the energy usage problem head-on, without losing any of those old winning personality traits like lots of outlets and surge protection.
Install CFL or LED lights
An average American household can save over $200 per year by replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs.
Energy Star® certified appliances
If you’re ready and willing to spend a little more money and just a bit more effort, you can replace your old appliances with ENERGY STAR® certified appliances. ENERGY STAR-compliant devices save on average, anywhere from 20 to 30 percent less energy.