6 energy saving hacks for your home
Most homeowners today want to do whatever they can to help the environment. One of the more popular methods is to find ways to cut down on energy usage, whether that means turning off the television when no one is watching or driving fewer times to the grocery store.
Many energy-saving tips and tricks not only save money, but are good for the planet. Here are some energy-saving hacks that will help you ‘go green’ while keeping more green in your pocket.
Replacing your home’s outdated windows with Energy Star-qualified windows is one of the biggest energy-saving changes a homeowner can make, reports the U.S. Department of Energy. Poor windows can account for as much as 25 percent of a home’s energy usage.
While it may take awhile for new windows to pay off in energy savings, the benefits of added comfort, improved aesthetics and functionality can all offset the cost.
The Department of Energy also advised having the windows installed by trained professionals according to manufacturer’s instructions to get the best value and to protect warranty coverage.
When it comes to replacing windows look for energy efficient, dual paned windows.
Most replacement windows will have one strip of window stripping around the frame. Specialized window packages such as The Arizona Package has 3 strips of weather stripping strategically placed inside little fins built into the frame, making it extremely effective against the crazy Arizona dust storms.
Also, don’t overlook the importance of interior and exterior blinds and shades to maximize energy efficiency.
In addition to your home’s central air conditioning unit, the energy department recommends using interior fans to help spread cool air through the house without a big increase in cooling cost. With central air units, keep the thermostat set on the “auto” mode and not keep the fan going constantly. Smaller circulating fans in each room are more efficient and cost less to operate.
The right kind of landscape can make a big difference in keeping your home cool during the summer. Trees and plants provide cooling “by shading your home and reducing air temperatures with evapotranspiration — a process in which the tree releases water vapor that lowers ambient temperatures,” explains rodalesorganiclife.com. Properly situated trees can reduce summertime energy costs by up to 25 percent, according to the energy department.
When congress banned incandescent light bulbs, many people were disgruntled because while the compact fluorescent corkscrew bulbs saved energy, the quality of their light was not the same. LED bulbs solve that problem. They are just as energy-efficient and the light is brighter. Even better, LED bulbs are dimmable.
For now, most LEDs are still more expensive than CFL bulbs, but prices will likely fall as they gain in acceptance. Right now an EcoSmart 13-watt LED bulb is $14.88 on Amazon.com. The light output is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb and with three hours of use daily, it should last 23 years. Wisebread.com reports each CFL bulb saves about $6 a year in energy usage and LEDs use even less energy.
Check your water heater
Hot water heaters are overlooked energy guzzlers.
“Every time you turn on any hot faucet or run the dishwasher or washing machine, you place a demand on the hot water heater,” notes customade.com. “A more efficient on-demand water heater or one with a massive storage tank might save you up to 18 percent of your energy bill.”
The site advises setting the temperature at 120 degrees and washing clothes in cold water whenever possible. Consider installing a solar water heater.
Use heat reflective textured coating for exterior paint
You can also save up to 21.9 percent on your energy costs with the right kind of exterior coating on your walls.
Tex Cote paint is specially formulated to reflect the sun’s heat. You can lower exterior wall surface temperatures by as much as 40 degrees when compared to traditional paints in many colors.
The best thing about home energy hacks is they save you money and some can also increase the value of your home. Replacing outdated windows with new energy-efficient options offered by experienced local window experts and painting the exterior of your home are just some of the ways you can save your wallet and the environment.
American Vision Windows is a family owned and operated business, beginning more than 15 years ago with the sole purpose of helping fellow homeowners save money by keeping their homes better insulated. Now, American Vision Windows is the largest window sales and installation company in California and Arizona. Visit us at AmericanVisionWindowsAZ.com to hear owners, Bill and Kathleen’s story on why they started American Vision Windows.