The fact that 2 million Australian homes now have solar panels speaks volumes about the importance homeowners are now placing on owning energy-efficient homes.
While saving the planet should be incentive enough for any homeowner to make energy-efficient improvements to their home, the perks of going green don’t stop there. Lower taxes, lower electric bills, and a more efficient home make such improvements worth the effort.
Here are 7 energy-efficient improvements to make to your home this year that are sure to save you some serious cash.
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Automated lighting is only one of the many ways to add Smart Lighting to your home. LED bulbs, halogen incandescents, and compact fluorescent lamps are other effective ways to cut back on your lighting bills.
Smart lighting can even allow you to program your lights to come on and off at certain times of the day. You can program them to be motion-sensitive so no electricity is wasted when someone leaves the room.
Smart lighting systems even let you see the data on your usage so you can make better choices to save more power. All in all, this update can save you close to $80 a year on your electric bill.
With the combination of high energy costs and falling prices for solar panels, there’s no doubt that solar panels are growing in popularity among homeowners—and for good reason.
The cost of solar panel installation depends on where you live and who you buy from.
Still, on average after your tax credit, solar panels will put you out about $13,000. This may seem like a huge chunk of money at first, but when you take into consideration the lifetime savings upwards of $43,000, you’re looking at some serious cash in your wallet.
Solar panels are rising so much in popularity that developers in some areas are even beginning to offer solar-shingles to interested buyers.
Run Ceiling Fans
Most homeowners think of their ceiling fans as a helpful means of keeping their home cool without running the AC. Did you know that running your ceiling fan on low even during the winter months also helps reduce your heating costs?
Because hot air rises, warm air from your heater can often become trapped near the ceiling of your home.
To combat this, keep your ceiling fan running at its lowest speed to help get that warm air circulating. Doing so means you stay more comfortable, your heater doesn’t have to work overtime, and your heating costs shrink. Thank you, basic science!
Low Flow Faucets
Low flow showerheads may cost you a whopping $20 at your local home improvement store. The yearly savings to your water bill, though, can be upwards of $150. According to Energy Star, low flow faucets throughout your entire house can even reduce your home’s water usage by nearly 50% every year.
This inexpensive home update isn’t just a great way to save money, it’s also one of the easiest changes to make. You can literally install a low flow faucet in your kitchen or bathroom today without any specialized tools or knowledge.
If you’ve noticed a draft in your home, or you’ve experienced disconcerting spikes in your electric bills, they could be due to a lack of proper insulation. Even if you had sufficient insulation installed when your home was built, weathering and age can cause gaps in your home’s insulation to form.
Gaps in your insulation or inadequate insulation mean all that cooled or heated air is flying right out of your walls and roof.
Luckily, a single roll of insulation costs about $15 and you can save nearly 20% of your heating and cooling costs by making sure your home is properly insulated.
Just as with proper insulation, weatherstripping is essential for preventing drafts and air leakage in your home. Weatherstripping can be used around movable components like doors and windows in your home.
If you are looking to seal holes or drafts in walls or other non-movable surfaces, then caulk can be a great alternative.
When choosing adequate weatherstripping, you want to select a kind that will stand up well against temperature changes, extreme weather, and moisture. Installed properly, weatherstripping can reduce the air loss in your home by 30-40%.
Just make sure that you install weather stripping that completely seals the door or window when closed, but still allows the window or door to open completely. Proper ventilation is an important part of your home’s safety as well.
Smart devices are definitely a thing of the future, but they’re here and ready to go in the present. Smart devices are taking over home appliances and your thermostat is no different.
Similar to Smart Lighting, a Smart Thermostat allows you to pre-set and control the air conditioning in your house depending on the time of day. This means you can program your home’s temperature to change when you leave for work, leave a room, or go to bed at night.
Such “minor” adjustments actually have a major impact on your overall heating and cooling costs each year. With a Smart Thermostat, you could be saving up to $150 a year on your energy bills.
More Energy-Efficient Improvements
The ways to make energy-efficient improvements to your home are virtually endless. You can get started with some of the smaller, less expensive adjustments today and still end up saving hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year.
For more helpful ideas on everything from home care to design, browse the rest of our blog today.