Becoming more energy efficient and reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses we emit is a hot topic in today’s world. Reporters harp on the changes businesses can make to make a difference, but how can you help? Energy efficiency is also a great way to save money on utility expenses and increase your home’s value, so becoming more energy efficient is still very worthwhile even if you’re not particularly environmentally conscious.
Replace Windows and Doors
If you live in an older home, it is likely your windows and doors could use an upgrade. Even newer homes could be ready for an upgrade if they were originally built with aluminum or metal window frames. Instead, replace them with wood, fiberglass, or vinyl. Replacing these can be costly, but will add to the value of your home, should you ever decide to sell.
Adding new insulation to your attic can be a huge cost saver, particularly if you live in an older home. Better insulation will help keep cold air in and hot air out during the summer and warm air in and cold air out during the winter, drastically reducing your home’s heating and cooling costs. Experts say you should have at least 11 inches of fiberglass insulation or at least 8 inches of cellulose insulation in your attic. If not, you should consider adding more. Another great place to add insulation is around windows and doors if you can’t afford to buy new ones. Filling in small cracks or reinsulating any seams that could be allowing air in or out can make a big difference.
Raising your thermostat a few degrees in the summer and lowering the heat in the winter can be an easy way to save, and you will quickly adjust to the new temperature. Did you know that climate control takes up about half of a utility bill? Smart thermostats can learn and adjust your home’s temperature according to your family’s schedule and usage patterns. They can learn when you are working during the week and when you are normally sleeping and adjust the temperature accordingly.
New Garage Door
Your garage may not be one of the first places you think of when it comes to saving energy, but it can be where a large portion of your heating and cooling are going to waste. Insulated garage doors help keep your home from getting as hot in the summer and as cold in the winter, thus lowering your HVAC energy usage.
Energy Star Appliances
Getting new Energy Star rated appliances to replace older appliances may save you more money than you think. For instance, a new, energy star rated washing machine uses a little more than 5 gallons per wash as opposed to around 10 gallons for older models. That’s almost a 50% savings. Refrigerators, TV’s, ovens, and HVAC systems also have energy star certified versions to help cut down on your energy bill and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Regulate Water Consumption
When we say “regulate water consumption,” we don’t mean “take shorter showers.” Instead, add inexpensive low-flow fixtures or restrictor valves. Government research states that these types of water restricting additions can save you up to 50% on water consumption.
Make the Switch to LED
You’ve heard about LED light bulbs, but have you made the switch? The shade of the first LED bulbs may have turned you away from buying any, but now you can get LED bulbs in pretty much any shade. They are more expensive than regular incandescent bulbs, but they will immediately start saving you money on your electricity bill. Switching to LED light bulbs is one of the simplest and most effective ways to make your home energy efficient.
Install a Storm Door
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, storm doors can help decrease energy loss by up to 50%. Even if you have an energy efficient front door, storm doors can still make a difference by giving an extra layer of protection from the elements. Storm doors are typically relatively inexpensive and tend to last 25 to 50 years, making them an easy investment.
Get a Low Rate Home Equity Loan from Patriot Federal Credit Union
If you’re ready to have a more energy efficient home and are looking to make some large changes to achieve your goal, you may need some funding. Patriot Federal Credit Union offers great, low-rate home equity loans that can help. Use the equity in your home to help increase your home’s value for the future. Plus, as you generate more savings through being more energy efficient, you can pay off your loan in no time. Call us at 888-777-9982, visit the home equity page on our website, or visit any of our branches to learn more about how Patriot can help you have a more energy efficient home.