(StatePoint) Reducing your energy use at home is a win-win for your wallet and the planet. Not only can it save you money on your bills now, but it could also improve your home’s resale value, if you know which steps to take. These simple tips can help.
Form Smart Habits
Energy smart habits can help you save a great deal of energy. Be sure to unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when they are not in use and always turn off the lights when leaving a room.
In the kitchen, be sure to keep a clutter-free fridge for better efficiency. Also, don’t hem and haw over what to eat while the refrigerator door is open.
When cooking, cover pots and pans to keep the heat in and the kitchen cool.
Make Smart Swap Outs
Many electronics continue to use energy even when they are switched off, however, you may wish to switch to ENERGY STAR certified alternatives, which are designed to conserve this energy usage, while still maintaining functions like clock displays, channel settings and remote control functions. Also, seek out the ENERGY STAR certified label when shopping for appliances like washers, dryers and refrigerators.
Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs is simple, easy and effective. You can save up to $70 in annual energy costs by replacing your 5 most frequently used light bulbs or fixtures with ENERGY STAR certified ones.
Seal Up Drafts
Weather stripping, caulking and other simple measures, like closing the flue damper of your fireplace when it’s not in use, can go a long way towards keeping you more comfortable in all types of weather, and improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Know Your Score
Another great step to save energy is to measure your home’s energy efficiency with a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score from the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), a non-profit standards-making body for building energy efficiency rating and certification systems.
More than 2 million homes across the country have a HERS Index Score, which tells homeowners and prospective buyers how their homes compare to other similar ones in terms of energy usage. Think of it as the home industry’s version of the MPG (miles per gallon) rating that you find in the auto industry. The lower a home score, the higher its efficiency.
“Knowing your score can help you evaluate where to make changes to your home, from sealing leaks in your heating and cooling distribution system to updating your roof in order to be more energy efficient,” says Steve Baden, executive director of RESNET.
To learn more and for more energy efficiency tips, visit resnet.us.
Reducing your carbon footprint is not about self-sacrifice. Common sense tips can help you improve your energy efficiency while making your home a more comfortable place to reside.