The benefits of running an energy efficient household are numerous and compelling, and a top concern for homeowners. The goal is a simple one – use less energy by having the components of your home operate at peak performance. Advanced construction techniques, new technologies, environmentally friendly practices and even simple conservation all add up to reduce waste and save money! Even if you currently live in an older home, there are some easy fixes you may implement to reduce your energy usage. Let’s take a look at some of the best tips for making your home, or even your business, become more efficient.
Save Energy With Lighting
New technologies in lighting are an easy way for anyone to improve energy efficiency. Long-lasting LED light bulbs use much less energy than incandescent light bulbs, but just be sure to find the right kind of bulb for each space – there are a variety of lighting hues (cooler and warmer) and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how to shop for LED lights. (Click HERE for a great link from energystar.gov!)
You can also utilize other technologies that give more control over when your lights are actually in-use—from photocell receptors for outdoor lights, timers, or even smart lights you can control from your phone. Remember that traditional approaches work well, too. Turning lights off when you leave the room, using major appliances at off peak hours (check with your utility company), and taking advantage of natural light to keep your home well-lit during the day are small habits that can collectively lower utility bills.
Better Appliance Practices
Appliances are big energy consumers, so it’s important to follow a few simple practices to ensure efficient operation. Consider replacing older appliances with new, energy efficient models and benefit from the lower costs of their usage. Common sense measures like these can also make a difference – keeping the oven door closed while cooking avoids drastic temperature changes, and maintaining a constant temperature prevents your oven from working harder than necessary. Refrigerators (and freezers) operate at peak performance when they are full, so in terms of energy usage, it’s a good idea to keep your kitchen stocked! Also be sure that both components are set to the manufacturer’s recommendations. And, don’t forget about small countertop appliances – coffee makers and toasters that maintain a constant lighted display when plugged in are consuming energy all day, not just at breakfast. Unplug them when not in use.
Keeping your home to your preferred temperature is obviously important for your comfort, but that comes at a price, especially in older homes. Heating and cooling expenditures are costly, and you’ll want to conserve where you can. Programmable thermostats that keep your home warmer or cooler than you prefer while you’re away from home are a great start. If you live in an older home and notice drafts around your doors or windows, perform an energy audit to check for cracks and leaks. You’ll find that sealing air leaks and adding insulation to your home can make it more comfortable and efficient. Lastly, consider replacing an outdated HVAC system with a newer highly efficient unit.
Design and Build Your Dream Home with Columbia Builders!
Columbia Builders is the home builder of choice in Howard County, offering homes in Ellicott City, Elkridge, Laurel, Columbia, Marriottsville, Fulton, Clarksville, Dayton, and Brookeville. No matter what the size and scope of your project, we have the skills, experience, and resources needed to bring your vision to life. We offer a level of customization that is truly unmatched and are committed to using materials and craftsmen of the highest quality, so you can trust that your new home is built to last.
If you’re ready to invest in a home that is built with your needs in mind, trust in us. Give Columbia Builders a call today at 410-730-0215 or use our contact form here. You can also keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Houzz, and Youtube, and don’t forget to check back on our blog for more tips and information!