energy efficientBuildings are the largest carbon emitters on the planet, accounting for about 40% of emissions.  This comes from excessive energy and water use and neglect in upgrading and repairing buildings and homes as they age.  The good news is there are some easy things you can do today that will ultimately save you a lot of money on your utility bills as well as help out the planet.  You can make you home more energy efficient, and here a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Limit the use of air conditioning.  You AC unit is a huge power sucker, so adjusting it even a few degrees can make a huge difference.  Many units can also be programmed to stop working when you are away from home.
  2. Energy Star

    Energy Star certification ensures energy efficiency.
    Image: Energy Star

    Look for the Energy Star seal.  When you buy new appliances, you want to make sure they have achieved Energy Star certification for energy efficiency.  Further, there are Quality Installation guidelines that Energy Star gives to qualified installation professionals.

  3. Add insulation to your heating ducts.  The tubes that deliver hot air will heat rooms faster if they are wrapped in insulating material.
  4. Curtains will also help houses retain hot or cool air, depending on the desired effect.  Heavy hanging curtains will keep the home’s temperature.
  5. Change out the air filters in your home.  These things get dirty and it is easy to forget about them.
  6. Replace light bulbs with LED lights, as they can reduce your lighting energy use by over 50%, and they last much longer than most bulbs.
  7. Using appropriate heating elements for cooking can save a lot of energy.  Convection ovens are more efficient than conventional, and using microwaves or toaster ovens when possible is more efficient still.  Pressure cookers are also great for saving time and energy.
  8. Have your home assessed for leaks.  Energy auditors have ways of determining how air leaks through your home and makes heating and cooling more difficult.  They can make recommendations on needed repairs and additional insulation.