You might not think it, but your home likely uses a surprising amount of energy every day. From appliances in your kitchen to water use in your bathroom, there are plenty of contributing factors that can add dollars to your monthly energy expenses. If you're ready to decrease your energy use and improve your home at the same time, here are a few great projects to consider.
Replace Old Appliances with Energy-Efficient Versions
When you're looking for simple home upgrades that don't involve tearing out walls or flooring, replacing your old appliances is a pretty good one to get you started. When your appliances age, they become less energy-efficient. And if you're already dealing with outdated appliances in your home, chances are they were never very efficient, to begin with. Some of the biggest energy users in your collection of appliances include your refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher. Did you know that water heating makes up almost 18% of your home's energy costs? Just think about how much water your dishwasher needs to heat up to complete one load of dishes! Replacing your appliances with Energy Star approved models can ensure that you're being more conservative about energy use when it comes to your bigger appliances.
Upgrade Your Electrical System
While it would be nice to make the switch to 100% solar power, that's just not in the cards for many of us. Fortunately, you don't have to completely switch to solar power to be more energy efficient in your home. The first thing you need to do is assess your current electrical system. When was the last time you had it checked out by an electrician? Is your house a few decades old? These are both important things to consider not just for energy efficiency, but for your safety, as well. There are more than 45,000 home electrical fires annually, and older electrical work is to blame for many of them. Once you have the okay on your home's electrical work, consider taking steps to lighten the load. Turn lights off earlier at night. Use energy-efficient lightbulbs throughout your house. Limit the amount of time you spend on electronic devices like your television. And remember to unplug any devices when you're not using them!
Invest in Additional Attic Insulation
When you're looking to reduce the amount of energy you're using, your attic should be one of the first places you look. If you're not careful about checking on your attic, you could be wasting energy and ignoring potential damage to the attic itself. And considering that almost 20% of people don't save any part of their annual income, ignoring your attic and needing a new roof might not be the best move. So make sure you take a look at your attic! Is it well insulated? If not, it's important to invest in some good insulation installation there. A large percentage of your home's heat escapes through the attic, which means you could be wasting money heating your home during the colder months. When your attic is well insulated, you're making sure your HVAC system doesn't need to work as hard to keep the house a consistent temperature. As a result, you'll be using less energy and spending less money on your monthly heat expenses.
When you're looking for ways to decrease your energy use, it doesn't hurt to consider that a few home improvements could help you out along the way. Start with these three projects and then move to new areas where your energy use could improve. Pretty soon, you'll have an energy-efficient home you absolutely love.