We’re fortunate to be living in a time where technology and innovation are king. Between smart devices, apps, and more accessibility to solar power, there are tons of ways to live more efficiently. If all of us took just one step toward efficiency, we could significantly impact the Earth, our communities, and our energy costs (as an added bonus).
Adopting some energy-efficient habits isn’t as hard as you may think. Here are just 10 ways you can make your home more efficient.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
Lowering the temperature on your thermostat while you’re away from your home can use less energy and save you up to 15% every year. A smart thermostat, like Nest, regulates your home temperature to provide optimal comfort while working at peak efficiency. You can even adjust the temperatures from your phone or computer when you’re away.
2. Install A Geothermal Heating and Cooling System
Geothermal systems use energy from the Earth to heat or cool your home. They’re also one of the most energy efficient systems available—about 48% more efficient than gas furnaces, 75% more efficient than oil furnaces, and 43% more efficient when it cooling mode. Ask your home builder whether or not you’re in the market for one of these systems before breaking ground.
3. Switch to LED or CFL lights
Remove all those old lightbulbs around your home and switch them out to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. These offer longer lasting light and more energy efficiency than your old incandescent bulbs. As an added bonus, it is incredibly rare for LED bulbs to overheat or cause a fire!
4. Collect rainwater to water your plants
Imagine if the 300 gallons of water from last night’s storm could be put to better use. Good news, it can. Rather than letting that water flow into the street causing runoff in the stormwater collection system, install a rainwater collection barrel. A professional can clip your gutters and redirect them to pour into the barrel so that you can recycle it for watering your plants and lawn.
5. Install solar panels
Installing home solar panel systems is still one of the best ways to make your home more efficient. They are installed on your roof and use energy from the sun to heat your home, which means they promote lower usage of fossil fuels and can save you money in the long run. Plus, you can qualify for tax incentives just by having them!
6. Use native plants in your yard
Using native plants and trees in your yard is one of the best things you can do for the environment. Native plants require low maintenance and thrive in the local climate and soil conditions. This means you’ll use less water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gas-powered equipment for your yard.
7. Purchase energy-efficient appliances
When you’re shopping for home appliances, be sure to look for the Energy Star label on everything—dishwashers, washing machines, ovens, refrigerators, dryers, etc. The label means that a third party has verified that the product uses low energy or water.
8. Energy-efficient windows
Like the appliances, be sure to look for energy-efficient windows when building or remodeling your home. These can decrease your heating and air conditioning consumption, lowering energy and costs.
9. Smart home automation systems
Smart systems for your home vary from security to virtual assistants and get improve various functions in your home, making it more efficient overall. You can control lighting, temperature, appliances, and more so that they work as efficiently as possible and turn off when they’re not in use. You can even use these systems to create a schedule for when certain things should turn on and off, like outdoor lighting or the coffee pot. So, not only will these systems make your home more efficient, but they can also make you more efficient.
10. Use Bamboo For Flooring
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth, making it the most efficient flooring material. It’s also zero-VOC, all-natural, non-toxic, and as easy to work with as hardwood or laminates. Ask your builder and designer if bamboo flooring is a good option for your home.