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Energy-saving tips for your home

6 ways to save the earth and your money

woman adjusting smart thermostat
Photo (c) SDI Productions - Getty

The following companies participate in our Accreditation Program: Sunpower, Zenernet, Sunlux and Vivint Solar.

Since the industrial revolution, our use of energy and greenhouse gases has exponentially increased. Fortunately, the latest research and technology can help curb our dependence on non-renewable energy. Making energy-efficient upgrades may cut back on energy consumption and saves you some serious coin in the long run.

1. Research efficiency rebate programs

Local government and public service companies often offer cash rebate programs for residents who install new, energy-efficient equipment or cooling systems. Some programs let homeowners make multiple upgrades at once for even more savings. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) to find policies and incentives in your area for solar panels and other household upgrades.

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Photo (c) Vivint Solar
  • 10-year manufacturer's warranty
  • Financing available

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2. Invest in a smart thermostat

Smart thermostats track your preferences, schedule and local climate to cool and heat your space in the most energy-efficient way. You can use an app to control the thermostat remotely. Climate control is one of the most significant energy users in most homes.

ecobee smartthermostat
Photo (c) Amazon
  • Save up to 23% on heating or cooling costs
  • Works with Alexa and a mobile app

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3. Track your energy usage

Tracking your energy consumption is an easy way to discover how you’re wasting electricity throughout your home. There are several ways for you to track your energy usage, including:

  • Meter reading app: Meter reading apps work exactly as advertised — they read an electric meter and reveal energy consumption. Most can also monitor gas and water meters.
  • Energy cost calculator: An energy cost calculator takes a closer look at your energy monitoring. With these apps, you can enter the electrical items in your house and get an estimate of the energy consumption.
  • Electrical bill: This is an old-fashioned way to do it, but it is a great way to get an idea of your basic energy usage. Compare your bill from month to month and factor in items like seasonal HVAC usage or overuse of lights during nighttime.

By tracking your energy consumption, you might be shocked by how much energy you could save!

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Photo (c) Zenernet
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4. Consider infrared heating

Infrared heating is a great way to go if you’re trying to save on heating. Also called radiant floor heating, it transfers heat from the air around you to a specific object. This process uses 100% of the energy produced, so nothing is wasted. It’s also a simpler alternative to some other heating options — no need for complex fuels, filters, ducts or pumps!

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Photo (c) SunLux Energy
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  • Modern, low-profile solar panels

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5. Buy a water heater blanket

If you have an older water heater that isn't insulated, invest in a blanket! Studies show that a water heater blanket can reduce standby heat by up to 25% or 45%, meaning you can save up to 7% or 16% on water heating costs.

These blankets can be incredibly inexpensive and some utility companies even provide them at no charge! Just remember to check for any leaks around your older water heater before installing — if that is the case, you may need a replacement.

mws water heater blanket
Photo (c) Amazon
  • Fits up to 80-gallon tank
  • Average consumer payback is 6 - 12 months

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6. Add motion detector sensors

You probably already know about outdoor motion sensors for lighting, but you may not be aware of occupancy sensors that can monitor the inside of your house. They automatically turn on if they sense motion and flip off once people leave the room.

For instance, if you keep forgetting to turn off the bathroom or bedroom lights, then motion detector sensors could be just the thing to help you save that extra electricity from being wasted. These indoor sensors are fantastic for task-focused activities like cooking or cleaning.

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Photo (c) SunPower
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  • Panels guaranteed to retain original power capacity

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Photo (c) adamkaz - Getty

With these products, you can make a real impact by simply using less energy. If you want to take greater control of your energy-saving powers, you may want to invest in solar panels. To learn more, take a look at our solar energy guide.

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