5 Home Improvements That Help Reduce Energy Usage & Costs

by Leon on May 5, 2013

home improvements that can save you moneyChances are, there are a couple of times each year when you find yourself looking around certain areas of your home and you think to yourself “This space could definitely use a bit of an upgrade.” While it’s nice to do aesthetic changes such as coloring the walls another color or purchasing some new furniture, did you know that there are some home improvements that can actually help to reduce the amount of energy you use; ones that help to lower the amount of money that you spend each month? If you’re curious to know about what some of those things are, keep reading:

Conduct your own energy audit. Before you do anything, we advise that you conduct your own energy audit in your house. When it comes to monitoring the use of energy in your house, it’s a surefire way to determine what areas of your home are working at optimal levels and which are not. (For more information, go to Energy.gov and put “Do It Yourself Energy Audits” in the search field.)

Put in a couple of more ceiling fans. During extreme hot and cold weather, that is when we tend to rely the most on our central air units. This also means that more times than not, that’s when our electricity bills double or triple the average amount. One way to help to keep them down is to turn on the ceiling fans that you already have and/or to buy a couple of more. In the summer, they help to circulate cool air and in the winter, if you set them to rotate counterclockwise, they pull the warm air down closer to where you and your family are sitting.

Get some low-flow items. Although our water bills tend to be the cheaper ones of the bunch, when you’re trying to stick to a monthly budget, every little bit counts, right? Well, did you know that by installing a low-flow showerhead and toilet, you can reduce the amount of water than you use by as much as 60 percent? That’s definitely worth looking into.

Double-check your insulation. Something else that helps to regulate the ideal temperature in our homes is insulation, so make sure to check in your attic and basement for signs of an extensive wear or tear. Also, one tip that might also prove to be beneficial is if you have a standard water heater, by adding some insulation to it, you can reduce what it costs to heat water by as much as 15 percent.

Spend more time outside. Although a lot of us are used to using the accommodations that are inside of our houses, spending more time outside can provide us with fresh air and Vitamin D, both of which are highly beneficial for our health. Plus, the more time that you’re outdoors, the less energy that you’re using inside of your home. So, make it a point to create your own “outdoor room” with furniture, a water feature and a couple of patio umbrellas. By adding these kinds of things to your backyard or deck, you’ll soon discover that it can be just as nice to relax outside as it is to spend time indoors. (Plus it’s cheaper too!)

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