Having an energy-efficient home isn’t good for just the environment. Because, let’s face it: Earth is going down to the gutter. Between the ozone layer being destroyed and letting the sun melt glaciers all over the world, and all the air-conditioning/furnace-warming things we do, day in, day out, every single day…
It’s time for a change. It’s time to make our homes more energy efficient so we can stop relying on environment-harming resources so much!
…Plus, following the following tips save you hundreds of dollars a year!
1. Steel is a Steal!
60% of the steel used in steel-framed homes is recyclable. All that “plastic garbage” and cardboard you’ve been recycling over the years? Turns out that it’s actually helping you. Whaddya know?
Plus, steel isn’t susceptible to termites, pests, mold, or anything else that affects traditional wood-framed homes.
Metal roofs can keep your home a comfortable 50 to 60 degrees cooler in the hot months. (Letting you cut down your air conditioner usage.)
2. Upgrade Your Lightbulbs
According to this report, living rooms and dining rooms need more energy to heat up. The lighting levels in these rooms make it possible.
One thing you can do to cut down on heating, if you haven’t already, is to switch from your traditional incandescent bulbs to CFLs (Compact fluorescent lamp).
CFLs take up considerably less energy to heat up – and they are relatively inexpensive once you figure in savings.
And with those savings, later on down the road you can make an even healthier leap by switching from your CFLs to LED bulbs! (Why? Because LEDs take 12.5 watts to light up the bulb. 8 watts less than a CFL. This means lower electricity bill for you, and less greenhouse gasses for the environment.)
Plus, LEDs last more than double the life-span of CFLs. (That’s tens of thousands of hours longer!)
3. Not Using It? Unplug It!
This is a huge pet peeve of mine! Keeping electronics plugged in when they’re not being used.
According to a U.S Department of Energies study, the average household (in developed countries) spends more than $2,000 a month on energy costs.
The thing is that some appliances (like microwaves) use minute amounts of power when you keep them plugged in 24/7. I’m talking 8 or 10 cents on your bill. Not a big deal.
And obviously, unplugging your washing machine and fridge/freezer, just to save money, is a no-no.
There are some things that should and shouldn’t be unplugged. For the sake of convenience, a few of energy-suckers that should be, according to AOL.com, are…
- Desktop computers
- Air conditioners
- Stereos and radios
- Coffee machines
4. Use Power Strips
Power strips (aka surge protectors) are a dynamic force when it comes to powering off excessive devices and plugs. Some energy hogs never really “turn off” when you turn off their switch. Like PC desktops.
Plug them into a power strip, then just flip that strip off, and all those hungry devices will stop eating energy simultaneously.
5. Shorter Showers Are Your Friends
Your hot water heater, believe it or don’t, is an energy-hogging MONSTER. Those 10-20 minutes you spend in the shower, pondering life, can be spent lying in your bed. Your luscious, comfortable bed.
As a bonus, taking a shower uses a considerably less amount of water than a bath! Can you talk about a double win-in-one?
6. Cold Water in Washes Are Your Friends, Too!
See previous hack. This is also the hack many “go green” enthusiasts cherish. You’ve probably heard this one before – that’s because it’s so EFFICIENT for making your home energy efficient.
7. Clotheslines Are Chic (Again)
In the days of old, when smart watches were sci-fi, you saw clotheslines everywhere. The logic is simple: reducing electricity usage! The less electricity you rely on, the more of an efficient, cost-saving person you’ll become!
8. (Seriously) Reconsider Steel
Hands down, the most efficient energy-saving method is building a steel frame home. A lot more than building a metal roof, steel framing is a lot more durable. Than nearly anything you can think of.
But, and this is a big one… Unless you have the right, rigid type of insulation wrapped around your steel frames… Using steel frames without insulation, thinking it’d be more energy efficient than wood, is a big mistake.
Yes! With insulation, steel framing is more cost effective than lumber – with wood prices going up, steel is a savvy alternative.
These are just several, quick ways you can make your home energy efficient. Sure, there is a plethora of things you can do – today, tomorrow and right now. But these hacks are a good place to start!
Bonus hack: Use a spray tap on your faucets. You can get a cup of water in this, that you’d get a bucket from an ordinary faucet!
Featured photo credit: 8 Clever Hacks to Make Your Home Energy Efficient via lifehack.org