We're celebrating Earth Day by sharing these tips for how you make our planet, our bodies, and our wallets happier! Energy efficiency in our homes can have amazing benefits in so many ways. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy finds that energy efficiency can get us halfway to solving climate change (you can read the full report here)! When your home is more energy efficient, you spend less on monthly energy bills! And, energy efficiency can make us healthier. According to the World Health Organization, energy efficient homes can reduce exposure to household air pollutantion and help regulate temperature and moisture levels. All of these factors, when at unhealthy levels, can increase risk of stroke, heart attacks, respiratory illnesses, and other cardiopulmonary diseases (read about it here).
Check out different ways you can make your home more energy efficient!
There are many ways you can make your home more efficient without paying any money! Check out these tips below.
Experiment with your thermostat!
Adjust your thermostat so that it's using less energy. In the summer, you can turn it up a degree or two, in the winter you can turn it down a degree or two. Don't be afraid to wear different types of clothing indoors to make up for temperature differences! Turning on a ceiling fan can also help make your room more comfortable.
Take advantage of the spring weather!
If it feels nice outside, turn off your heating or cooling and open some doors and windows!
Wash your hands with cold water!
Washing hands is crucial right now during COVID-19. Many studies have found that washing hands with cold water and soap is just as effective as hot water (check out that research here, here, and here). Reduce energy usage by not relying on your hot water heater as much! Plus, it makes your hands less dry and irritated!
Wash your clothes in cold water!
When you turn on the hot setting on your washing machine, a lot of energy is used to heat up that water. Consider using the cold setting instead!
Turn off your lights!
Lighting can take up a surpising amount of your energy bills. Just turning them off when you don't need them can make a difference!
Turn off your electronics!
A lot of times, we forget electronics are on and leave them plugged in. But this sucks energy! Unplug and/or turn off electronics when they're not being used. A power strip can help with turning off multiple electronics at once when they don't need to be on!
When cooking at home, make sure you're thinking about energy efficiency. You can make your cooking more energy efficient by not using burners that are too big. When boiling water, put the lid on to save heat. Your microwave and toaster over are likely more energy efficient than your conventional oven, so take advantage of those!
Energy efficiency doesn't have to be expensive! Check out a few low cost tips below.
Switch to LED bulbs!
Switching to LED lightbulbs can save a lot of money, especially compared to how much they cost! They can use up to 90% less electricity than incandescent bulbs and can last much longer! They also produce up to 90% less heat, reducing your cooling bills.
Seal the leaks in your house
Grab some caulk and a caulk gun and get sealing! Check out this video to learn how--we promise it's not too hard! Common places to caulk that will increase energy efficiency are around windows, chimneys, and recessed lighting.