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How to improve your home’s efficiency

Spending money on bills each month is such a drag, why can’t utilities just be free? I know my electricity and water bills are typically the most expensive – so I did some research on how to lower them. 

Improving your home’s efficiency can make a big difference for the planet – and save you money! 

Cheap (or free) home efficiency tips

  • Turn off the lights during the day – natural light is free & can improve your mood!
  • Replace lightbulbs with LED bulbs. Why is LED better? Check out this article from Direct Energy
  • Turn off your dishwasher’s heated dry cycle and let your dishes air dry instead. 
  • Use bathroom & kitchen fans sparingly. Turn them off once you’re comfortable – they replace indoor air with outdoor air which means more work for your A/C or heater. 
  • Use lamps instead of overhead lights when you don’t need a ton of light. Lamps use less energy than overhead lights, especially if you have LED bulbs installed. 
  • Wash clothes & linens in cold water instead of hot – and wash in warm instead of hot if your washing requires warmer water. 
  • Use an outdoor grill with a propane tank instead of the stove – this will save electricity and gas. 
  • Dress for the weather when indoors. On colder days, wear more layers instead of cranking the heat. On warmer days, open the windows if the A/C isn’t on and wear minimal layers. 
  • Use washers, dryers & dishwashers at night – this will keep your home from heating up during warmer days, & will use less electricity (avoid peak usage hours 4PM – 6PM)
  • Turn off lights in rooms you aren’t using 
  • Unplug unnecessary electronics when you aren’t using them 
  • Charge your phone before bed & leave it unplugged through the night. This is actually better for your phone’s battery life, and will help it last longer! 
  • Use the dishwasher instead of hand washing – dishwashers use less water, but make sure to run it on full loads only. 

Home improvements to increase efficiency

  • Seal outside doors, window frames, and areas around vents with weatherstripping or caulk. This will keep the hot or cold air from entering your home & increasing the need for heat or A/C. 
  • Invest in energy efficient appliances. Installing efficient 
  • Clean or replace filters regularly. Dirty or old filters make your home’s systems less efficient & increase how long they run for. 
  • Replace single-pane windows with double-pane ones. Single-pane windows have less insulation, allowing outside temperatures to influence indoor temperatures. 
  • Install a programmable thermostat – once programmed, it will automatically adjust to stay at the temperature you want. This will improve your heating and cooling costs.
  • Improve your attic’s insulation. Replacing or installing additional insulation in your attic helps keep the air in your home where you want it 
  • Replace old doors and windows. Weather stripping and sealant are a great fix, but investing in new frames, windows and doors is a sure fix
  • Install ceiling fans in bedrooms and common spaces. Ceiling fans help circulate air, and help warm or cool a home depending on which system is running. 

Replace old faucets & fixtures with water saving ones that are “green.” This will save  money on water & electricity bills.

Is your home efficient?

If you’ve made these improvements and your bills are still costing a fortune, getting a home inspection or an energy audit is worth looking into. Some homes aren’t built with proper insulation & weatherproofing – which reduces efficiency. 

Even changing your daily habits & being conscious of the electricity and water you use can make a big difference. So turn off those lights!