When it comes to building an energy efficient home, you can do it the easy way or the hard way. The hard way often involves spending money you don’t have on technology you don’t understand. The easy way is, well, easy. And thanks to Americans’ rising interest for easy ways to minimize their overall footprint, energy efficient homes have become a way of life. Whether you’re planning on living off-the-grid or simply looking to save a little money in home energy costs, check out LandCentral’s Energy Efficient Homes: 6 Small Ways to Save Big:
#1: CHECK YOUR INSOLATION
This may seem like a no-brainer, but this is the most overlooked solution to saving money. Heating and cooling costs make up 45% of your home’s energy tab. Don’t let that energy leak through a crack in old windows or poor insolation.
TRY THIS: Seal gaps and cracks in your attic and basement and around windows and doors. If you’re building your home, ask the builder to do an air sealing test which uses a blower to determine potential air leaks before construction is finished.
BONUS TIP: Planting a garden on the roof can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
#2: BUY ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
We’ve come a long way in energy efficient technology. This means when it comes to picking appliances that will save energy and money, there are plenty of options available. Just make sure they have that energy star seal of approval.
#3: LOCATE YOUR ENERGY VAMPIRES
Energy vampires may be sucking the energy right out of your bank account. With outdated appliances or ones without the energy star, you may be wasting precious energy without even knowing it. Monitor how much energy your current appliances are using with an energy meter. Once you locate your energy vampires, send them to their grave and get yourself an energy star appliance.
TRY THIS: To measure your appliance energy use, try Watts-Up or Kill-a-Watt meter.
#4: INSTALL SKYLIGHTS
To save the most money with little inconvenience to you, install a skylight. This will give you easy access to daylight, limiting the amount of electricity you use daily.
BONUS TIP: You can get an energy tax credit when you switch to energy efficient appliances, windows, skylights, doors, etc.
#5: BUY A PROGRAMABLE THERMOSTAT
A programable thermostat can save you more than $100 a year in energy costs. Program your thermostat to turn down or off after you leave for work and to turn back on about an hour before you get home. This way you’re saving money while you’re out making money. A win-win in our energy book.
TRY THIS: To program your thermostat, try VisionPRO Touch Screen Honeywell Thermostat.
#6: STUDY THE SUN, WIND & LIGHT
When choosing a site to build your home or make additions to an existing home, track where the sun travels throughout the day. This will help you determine which direction to face your home and where to place windows to receive the most day light. When trying to maximize natural energy, window placement is key, this will give you the natural light and heat from the sun, as well as keep your bedrooms cool in the summer.
Do the same thing when tracking wind frequency on your lot. If you live in an area with a lot of wind, turn that wind into electricity with your own windmill.
TRY THIS: To track the sun’s path over your property, purchase a sun path diagram to share with your builder.
To track the frequency of prevailing winds, try using a Wind Rose.
BONUS TIP: To best minimize energy consumption in the Northern Hemisphere, build your home facing south to capture solar gain in the winter and block solar gain in the summer.
So there you have it. LandCentral’s Energy Efficient Homes: 6 Small Ways to Save Big. From air drying your dishes to swapping out your light bulbs, there are countless ways to save big.