How Can I Make My Home Energy Efficient?

There are many ways to make your home more energy efficient. From replacing old appliances to utilizing home automation technology, the options for lowering your utility bills are all-but-endless.

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Keep your cool

For homes with central heat and air, up to 42 percent of energy costs go toward maintaining a comfortable temperature.

man on couch with tablet

Insulate

Adding insulation to your home can reduce heating and air conditioning expenses by up to 20 percent.

  • Installing insulation in your attic or crawlspace or around heating and cooling ducts is relatively simple. If you do it yourself, buy appropriate protective gear: fiberglass insulation is a major skin and lung irritant.
  • Other kinds of insulation, including blown-in or sprayed foam, are best left to the professionals. Before you pay for the help, determine where your home needs insulation, and what kind is best for those applications.
  • Don’t forget to insulate your hot water heater: a DIY installation is easy and inexpensive and could pay for itself in less than a year.

Conserve water

The smart use of water resources, which use a considerable amount of energy to deliver and treat, can help lower your energy bill.

Let there be better light

More efficient lighting is one of the easiest ways to save money on your utility bills.

Save with the STAR

Cars are much more efficient than they were 20 years ago, and appliances are no different.

Replacing all your appliances at once would be cost-prohibitive, but you might be surprised at just how much money your old appliances cost you.

Take control with home automation

From an energy-efficiency standpoint, installing a home automation system may be the most effective way to make your home more energy efficient.

  • Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature of your home based on the time of day, or by manual control, via an app on your smartphone. Some smart thermostats, like the Google-owned Nest, learn and adapt to your preferences automatically.
  • Appliance/lighting control allows you to set any light plugged into a smart outlet to turn off at a pre-scheduled time, or, depending on the model you choose, from your smartphone.
  • You can also buy smart appliances like power-saving refrigerators or energy-tracking washing machines that allow you to save energy with a touch of a button.

Where should I start?

It’s easy to spend a lot of money trying to save money, so replace inefficient light bulbs and appliances as they burn out, rather than all at once. Performing a home energy efficiency audit, or hiring a professional to perform one, can help identify the biggest sources of energy waste in your home so you can respond in the most economical manner.

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Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help people find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She continues to report on local news as a volunteer with the community paper. For the last six years, she’s led a Girl Scout troop, teaching girls about safety and preparing for whatever life throws their way.

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