Three Ways to Make your Home More Eco-Friendly

Three Ways to Make your Home More Eco-FriendlyYou are probably tired of hearing what have become trite cautionary messages about how humans are destroying the global environment. Nonetheless, these messages and the dangers that they warn of are true. Not only is our unrestrained use of any resource that we can transform into energy causing destruction the global environment, but it is also putting a dent in everyone’s pockets.

Fortunately, there are many ways that you can reduce your energy consumption — and save money in the long run while you are at it. One of the best ways to do this is by making your home more eco-friendly.

Here are three ways that you can do this:

Update your fixtures and appliances

Our fixtures and appliances are the biggest contributors to individual energy consumption. As a result of the power consumed by them, the average American home uses nearly 11,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, which is a lot more than necessary. Updating your fixtures and appliances (HVAC system, refrigerator, washer/dryer, water heater, stove, etc.) to more energy efficient options will cut deeply into your energy use.

How do I know which appliances and fixtures are the best options for energy efficiency?

There are so many options for new appliances and fixtures that it can be difficult to figure out which ones you should invest in. Here are a few signs to look for:

Keep an eye out for the Energy Star label

In order to earn this label, a fixture or appliance must undergo rigorous testing to verify a minimum level of energy efficiency. The bar set by Energy Star — a subsidiary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — is very high; as such, this has become the gold standard for verifying a device’s energy efficiency. Make sure that at a MINIMUM, your next fixtures and appliances have earned this stamp.

Invest in the newest model year possible

As our energy conservation needs become more urgent, the EPA‘s requirements to earn an Energy Star label become more stringent. This means that a device that met the minimum requirements to earn the label five years ago wouldn’t make the cut now. Keep this in mind.

Search for energy efficient technologies

Some fixture and appliance technologies are more efficient than others. A gas furnace, for example, is much more energy efficient than an oil one; radiant heating is a more efficient heating method than most other options; etc.

What if I can’t afford to update all of my fixtures?

That is okay. Updating even one fixture will yield great benefits for your energy bill, and you can update the other ones whenever you can. For most people, their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is the biggest energy hog, so try to update this first.

Make your roof solar radiation friendly

Your roof absorbs a great deal of solar radiation that can make your HVAC system work twice as hard to maintain constant indoor conditions. Here are a couple of ways to reduce that effect:

Invest in reflective shingles

These will send much of that harmful solar radiation back where it came from.

Add solar technology

The best option for enhancing your roof is the implementation of sunpower solar panels. This transforms otherwise harmful solar energy into a boon that can reduce or negate your reliance on the local power company. If you are worried about them making your home less attractive, you can get solar shingles instead of panels.

Use energy efficient lighting

Many homeowners presume that replacing your light bulbs is an unnecessary practice that will only result in a negligible change in overall energy consumption. This is a major misnomer. Less efficient bulbs only use about 10% of their energy consumption to light your home; the rest is dissipated as heat. You can save around $200 per bulb by switching.

Enact these changes –whether wholly or piecemeal — and you will protect the environment and save you money.

Editorial Team
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