If you are ready to enjoy the many benefits of an eco-friendly home, then here is a look at five quick upgrades you can carry out today.
Switch to Energy Star-Rated CFL Bulbs
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce your home’s energy consumption is to install Energy Star-rated CFL bulbs. On average, CFL bulbs use 25 to 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. That is because most of the energy goes to lighting the room instead of producing heat. For those who live in a warmer climate, that will reduce one’s cooling bills during the summer. As an added bonus, these bulbs also last up to 25 times longer than their traditional counterparts.
Strategically Plant Trees
Planting trees on your property is another simple way to improve your home’s value while cutting down on your energy bills. Larger trees will shade your home during the summer if they are planted to the south and west of your windows. You should also try to shade your AC unit with a tree to reduce how much heat it produces. Depending on where you live and how much sunlight hits your home, three or more large trees could cut your HVAC costs by around 30 percent.
Insulate Your Plumbing
Not only do many older plumbing systems waste water, but they also waste quite a bit of energy. One popular solution for these issues is to install tankless water heaters throughout the home, but that can be an expensive upgrade. Instead, you might want to insulate the water heater and exposed pipes to better regulate the temperature of the water. You can then reduce the temperature settings on your water heater for even more savings.
Upgrade to a Mini-Split System
For the average family, the HVAC system accounts for around half of the home’s energy use. While there are many different ways to improve the efficiency of older systems, you might want to upgrade to a mini-split system. Instead of heating and cooling the entire home, these systems allow you to create zones in each room that can be kept at specific temperatures. Depending on which model you choose, you can install as many as four indoor air handling units with a single outdoor unit.
Install a Faucet-Mounted Water Filter
Few people realize just how much plastic is wasted by throwing away water bottles. Even recycling them still requires quite a few resources, and there is no guarantee that the bottles will be recycled in an efficient manner. A faucet-mounted water filter will allow your entire family to enjoy fresh water at any time without wasting any plastic. As an alternative, you could also invest in a refrigerator that has a reverse osmosis filtering system.
Everyone should spend some time looking for ways they can improve the efficiency of their homes and reduce their energy consumption. These few tips could potentially save you thousands of dollars while limiting your impact on the environment.