How to Make a House More Energy Efficient in 2022
The New Year is here! For homeowners that failed to make a resolution for 2022, perhaps this is the year to embrace an Earth-friendly environmental lifestyle. Transform the home into an energy-saving sanctuary and make changes to lower energy use and the price of those monthly bills.
There are many ways that homeowners can save energy; some upgrades are expensive, but other changes are free. Interested in living greener? Here’s how to make a house more energy efficient in 2022!
1. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances
Buying a new appliance is often an expensive purchase for many homeowners. For this reason, most homeowners won’t upgrade or opt for a newer model until their old appliance has hit the end of its usefulness. When an appliance costs more to repair than to replace, it’s time to go shopping.
For homeowners that want to lower their energy use, look for ENERGY STAR appliances. These energy-efficient options use less energy to operate, saving homeowners money each month. Updating all appliances to energy-saving options could help the savings add up.
2. Adjust the thermostat
One of the easiest ways to save money and energy is to just adjust the thermostat on the HVAC. Heating and cooling the home consumes the most energy, and even a little adjustment to the home’s temperature could make a big impact.
During the hot months of summer, adjust the temperature to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. During winter, opt for 68 degrees Fahrenheit. When homeowners are gone on vacation or at work, they can make additional adjustments.
Programmable thermostats can help ensure the temperature stays at the right temperature all day long and will adjust as needed. Changing the thermostat temperature is free, and could make a difference on electricity and gas bills.
3. Use blackout curtains
During summer, the hot sun could seep through the windows adding heat to the home and causing the air conditioning to work harder. Homeowners can block out the sun’s hot rays with blackout curtains.
These window treatments act as a shade for the home, keeping rooms cooler. These curtains aren’t expensive; in fact, homeowners can find them in different designs and price points. There’s even a tutorial for how to make blackout curtains.
For homeowners who live in areas of the country that get extremely hot during the summer, blackout curtains can save energy and money during these peak summer months.
4. Install low-flow faucets, toilets and showerheads
Water is a limited and precious resource. Conserve the home’s water use and stop flowing money down the drain.
Low-flow faucets, toilets and showerheads use less water than standard fixtures. Prices can vary, but homeowners can shop around to find options that fit their budget. Some fixtures might be easy to install as a DIY project, but toilets and more extensive projects might require a pro.
5. Upgrade the insulation
A poorly insulated home will not be protected from the outside temperatures. During summer, rooms may feel hot. Winter months could leave rooms with a constant draft. When the home isn’t properly insulated, the HVAC will work harder to keep the home warm or cool.
If homeowners notice drafty rooms or those that feel constantly warm during summer, the insulation could be a culprit. One way to determine if the attic needs additional insulation is if snow melts quickly on the roof.
Homeowners that suspect that their home is poorly insulated should contact a professional.
6. Change bad habits
Small bad habits can lead to energy waste. What are easy habits to change?
- When at home, turn off the lights that aren’t in use.
- Don’t leave the television on for background noise.
- Don’t let the water run while washing dishes and hands or while brushing teeth.
- Unplug appliances that aren’t in use.
7. Swap out old light bulbs for energy-efficient options
Homeowners who are using incandescent or halogen bulbs should upgrade to LED, which is a longer-lasting and more energy-efficient bulb. While these light options might be more expensive, over time they can save money and energy.
8. Use the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (or IoT) lets homeowners control appliances and gadgets from their phone or tablet. This means that lights in the living room can be turned off remotely from any location.
Homeowners have more control over their energy use when all the power is at their fingertips. Smart plugs and power strips also can be connected to virtual assistants, and homeowners can give verbal commands to control the items and gadgets in their home.
9. Install energy-efficient pet doors
Pet doors can be a source of air leaks in the home, and these little doors can waste energy by, again, forcing the HVAC to work harder. Install energy-efficient pet doors that provide more insulation and a better seal against the door.
10. Conduct a home energy audit
Download benefyd and conduct a home energy audit to find all the energy drains in the home. Be sure to have the home’s most recent utility bills, as the app will require energy use data. Then take a picture of each room in the home, and the app will identify all the ways homeowners can save energy and money!
For homeowners who didn’t make a New Year’s resolution for 2022, resolve to embrace an energy-efficient lifestyle. There are so many ways homeowners can cut energy waste in their home and save money, too! Make changes today to decrease the home’s carbon footprint and embrace going green and saving green.