Fixing problems with your home’s energy consumption can impart long-lasting benefits to the planet, as well as your wallet.
Making a few eco-friendly changes can keep energy from pouring out of your home, which can help save money on your utility bills for years to come. So, how can homeowners make their home a little greener?
The first step is to identify where energy dollars are flying out of your home, says Mike Nicholson, owner of Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.
In many homes, air leakage poses a problem. Conditioned air that continuously seeps through cracks and is replaced by unconditioned air can cost homeowners big bucks, says Nicholson.
"Sealing leaks could cut heating and cooling bills anywhere from five to 40 percent, depending on how many you have," he added.
Check for cracks around doors and windows and anywhere the exterior structure of the home has been joined together. Leaks can be sealed with caulk, weather stripping, or spray foam insulation.
Use power strips
Electronics can be a huge energy drain, even when they’re turned off. But plugging electronics and appliances into a power strip can help stop electronics from draining electricity when they are in standby mode.
Using power strips, and turning them off when you leave a room, can cut your power usage by up to 10%.
Fix leaky faucets
One drip per second from a leaky faucet wastes 540 gallons of water per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A dripping faucet can also annoy the eardrums and be a burden to one’s wallet.
To fix a leaky faucet, homeowners can either hire a professional or endeavor to fix the problem on their own. Do-it-yourselfers can tackle the job in just five steps using this tutorial from Popular Mechanics.
Opt for LED lights
LED lights use 85% less energy than conventional bulbs, last longer, and can save homeowners $100 over their lifespan.
Nicholson recommends opting for LEDs over compact fluorescent bulbs. Despite being the more expensive option, LEDs last much longer and don’t contain mercury.
Swapping out your old bulbs for LEDs can also make your home more attractive to potential buyers and increase the value of your home, making them well worth the initial investment.