Inexpensive Ways to Improve Home Energy Efficiency

by Paul Denkin,

Improving energy efficiency has become a key part of home ownership. Certain energy-efficient devices in a home can bring tax breaks as well as significantly lower utility costs. Of course, swapping out all of your appliances for Energy Star alternatives would put a serious dent in your bank account. Instead, you might want to consider smaller ways you can improve your home’s efficiency. Here are a few inexpensive improvements you can do to better the energy efficiency in your home.

  1. Replace Your Lightbulbs

An LED light bulb will live up to ten times longer than the standard incandescent bulb and use far less energy. It may seem like a much better deal to buy a pack of traditional bulbs for $2 as opposed to $10 for LEDs but in actuality, the LED bulbs cost far less in the long run.

You will need to replace the incandescent bulbs ten times in order to achieve the same lifespan as an LED bulb, plus you could spend up to eight times the cost to power an incandescent bulb compared to the cost of running an LED light. Swapping out all the bulbs in your house may seem a little pricey up-front but will save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

  1. Plant a Shade Tree

While this may not be a quick fix, shade trees planted near the home will reduce your home cooling costs by providing shelter from the sun. Plants can also lower the temperature of the air around them so you might also want to consider smaller plants to edge your home’s exterior. Try to find hardy, drought-resistant trees that will not use too much water.

  1. Seal Your Home

One of the biggest ways your home loses energy is through leakage. Cracks in window seals or doors allow warm or cool air to escape, causing you to waste energy keeping your home’s temperature stable. Sealing these cracks can noticeably lower your utility bill as well as improving your home’s temperature. You may also want to consider replacing windows metal or plastic-framed windows and hollow doors as they can allow leaks as well.

  1. Install Low-Flow Fixtures

The American toilet represents about a quarter of the county’s water usage.  Showerheads use almost as much. By installing things such as aerators and low flow showerheads and toilets, you are reducing your water use and your home’s costs. Though replacing your toilets can be a little expensive, low flow showerheads can be very cheap both to buy and to install.

Improving your home to lower energy waste can be an inexpensive and simple project. While Energy Star appliances are a good upgrade to make in your home, there are other ways you can start to make your home more efficient. Planting shade trees, sealing your home from drafts and cracks, and replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient options are the easiest ways for you to reduce your utilities and energy usage.

You can also invest in low flow appliances. Showerheads and aerators are affordable options while low-flow toilets are a little more expensive but worth it in the long run. Whatever you decide to do be sure to take all necessary safety precautions. DIY renovations are fun, but safety should always come first. Then, get ready to make some changes that will be beneficial for both your bank account and the environment.

Image via Pixabay by kaboompics

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