Making your home more energy efficient not only saves money, but it can also be beneficial to the environment. Adding energy-efficient products to your residence can greatly reduce your power consumption. The following are three ideas you can incorporate on your quest to lower energy consumption, save money, streamline your home and reduce your carbon footprint.
Central Air and Heating
Heating and cooling systems are rated with a SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The most efficient heating and cooling systems have a SEER rating of 20 to 26. This is basically just the ratio of their cooling or heating capability divided by the energy consumed to achieve it. Those interested in alternative comfort control equipment will be happy to know that you no longer need a lot of land to install a geothermal HVAC system. Other ways to save energy are through the installation of a programmable thermostat, weather stripping and insulation.
The average household dedicates around 5% of its energy budget to lighting. This can be decreased through the use of energy-efficient bulbs and fixtures. CFL, LED, and halogen bulbs are all energy-efficient options that can reduce your utility usage when compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. These efficient bulbs can have a higher up-front cost, but they last significantly longer than standard bulbs and eventually pay for themselves in the amount of energy saved. Using lights with timers can also help reduce energy. Simply having the lights go out when not needed cuts down on wasteful consumption.
Efficient appliances can be used throughout your home to decrease your energy usage. ENERGY STAR® appliances have been certified to operate on anywhere from 10% to over 50% less energy. There are many options to choose from, including washers, dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators. The installation of some of these appliances can also mean less water usage. You should be sure to take advantage of any rebates that are associated with purchasing energy efficient appliances. These rebate offers will vary based on your state.
Creating an energy-efficient home can be challenging. Many efficient products initially cost more than their traditional counterparts, making the decision of which option to purchase difficult if you’re on a budget. However, if you choose to install efficient lighting, kitchen appliances or an HVAC system, you’ll see the benefits over time when it comes to a decrease in your energy usage and a lower electricity bill.