Making your home as “green” as possible is a great way to save some money and protect the environment. Many homeowners waste thousands a year on inefficient electronics, phantom loads, and a variety of other efficiency issues without even realizing it. These three updates and renovations will help you reduce your home’s carbon footprint and lower your monthly utility bills.
Upgrade to High-Efficiency Appliances
One of the most effective ways to reduce energy consumption in your home is to replace older appliances with high-efficiency devices. Many third-party organizations now test appliances and give them efficiency ratings before they hit the market. Electronics that have an Energy Star label must adhere to rigid standards put in place by the EPA.
Put an End to Vampire Loads
A vampire load takes place when a device continues to draw power even when it isn’t being used. Each individual load is relatively small, but all of your electronics can waste quite a bit of energy over the course of a few months. Unplugging those items when they aren’t being used is one option, but you can also attach your devices to energy strips that have kill switches. You will then be able to flip a single switch to turn off all of the devices in a room.
Supplement With Natural Gas
Natural gas can power a wide variety of appliances including furnaces, stoves, and ovens. This source of energy is extremely clean, and many homeowners enjoy a huge drop in their electric bills after installing natural gas lines. Natural gas piping installation is a complex project, and homeowners will need to work with a contracting company that has the proper permits and licenses.
Those who would like to further reduce their carbon footprint might want to schedule an energy audit as well. During an energy audit, a trained inspector will go over every inch of your home and help you come up with a list of steps that you can take to improve its efficiency.