If every homeowner in America replaced one ordinary light bulb with an energy-smart bulb, the nation would save about $600 million in energy costs a year, ENERGY STAR reports. Of course, you’d see some of those savings in your power bill. If you’re a homeowner who’d like to lower your home’s energy consumption, consider making any (or all) of the following five changes:
Use weatherstripping to seal air leaks around your windows—according to ENERGY STAR, this can save 10 percent or more on your monthly energy bill. Old single-pane glass provides notoriously poor insulation, and if you think your windows themselves are the culprit, it might be time to replace them entirely. New energy-efficient windows help trap cool air inside during the summer and keep warm air in during the winter, making your home more comfortable and giving your HVAC system a break.
Invest in an Automatic Thermostat
New models like the Nest thermostat make it easy to save money on your energy bill without sacrificing comfort. After a few days of setting the temperature manually, the Nest “learns” your habits and patterns and adjusts your thermostat accordingly. It even switches to an energy-efficient “away” mode when you leave the house. According to the manufacturer, the Nest thermostat can save as much as 20 percent on your power bill.
Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
When it’s time to purchase a new washer, dryer, refrigerator or other household appliance, choose an energy-efficient model. You’ll save on your power bills, and you may even be eligible for a tax credit for your investment. EnergyStar.gov lists recommended appliances by category, making it easy to tell which choices are the most energy-efficient. Before you hit the stores to make your purchase, do a bit of efficiency research beforehand.
Be Smart About Chargers
This might seem like a minuscule concern, but it’s one of those changes that can really add up. When you leave your phone charger plugged in after your device is through charging, you’re still using power—and, if you’ve got a few phone chargers constantly plugged in throughout the house, that drain can make a difference. Instead, either unplug when you’re through charging your device or invest in a charger that shuts off automatically.
Insulate and Ventilate
About half of American homes aren’t adequately insulated, according to the Alliance to Save Energy in an interview with U.S. News and World Report. If you’re looking for a way to dramatically improve your home’s efficiency, make certain its attic space is properly insulated and ventilated.