Living a greener lifestyle isn't just for the environmentally-conscious. You can save a pretty hefty amount of money on your utility bills if you take steps to make your home more energy-efficient. The range of home improvement projects that can help you meet this goal is wide, running the gamut from quick fixes to major renovations. Below you'll find some of the best projects, both big and little, to cut down on your home energy costs.
One of the simplest and smartest changes you can make to your home is to get rid of your incandescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs are considerably cheaper to operate, last much longer, and cost little more than their traditional counterparts. Modern CF bulbs are even able to replicate the warm shades of light provided by older, electricity-hogging bulbs.
Outdoor lights can make your home both more attractive and safer. Controlling them manually or with timers is a recipe for wasted power, though. You can cut down on the cost of operating your outdoor lights by installing motion detectors to switch them on. This way, your lights won't drain energy when there's nothing out there for them to illuminate.
Well-insulated walls are vital to preventing heat loss in your home and maintaining the indoor temperatures you prefer. Electrical fixtures like outlets and switches can act as holes in your wall insulation, though, letting heat seep out of your rooms. Nip this problem in the bud by installing foam gaskets on all of your switches and outlets, especially ones mounted on exterior walls.
There are bigger wall openings to worry about when it comes to heat loss, though: doors and windows. In order to slow down the transfer of heat through these openings, you should make sure all of your doors and windows have fresh weather stripping. Weather stripping isn't too durable, so it's a smart idea to check yours annually and replace any damaged areas.
For a major energy-efficiency project, keep physics in mind the next time you replace your roofing materials. Regardless of the type of roof you have, you'll get a better performance out of lighter colors that reflect more heat. Light colors are available for ceramic tiles, metal roofs, and even asphalt shingles. This is an all-season solution that will improve the efficiency of your insulation and make your home cheaper to heat and cool.
Don't forget that your everyday behavior contributes a great deal to your overall energy costs. Consider starting a compost heap to reduce the amount of food waste and organic matter that goes into your garbage. Composting lets you stop using your power-hungry sink disposal grinder, and it also saves you money on landscaping by giving you a free supply of great fertilizer.
Energy consciousness can influence your maintenance schedule, too. Make leaky faucets a high priority whenever you notice them. The amount of water wasted by a minor leak can stack up with surprising speed. Cut these losses down by fixing leaks as soon as possible.
Running an energy-efficient house is smart for any number of reasons. You get to enjoy lower utility costs as well as the environmentally-responsible feeling of shrinking your carbon footprint. As you can see from the suggestions provided here, increasing your energy efficiency is a process that you can complete in small, hassle-free steps. Why not get started today?