5 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
According to the US Energy Information Administration, water heating, space heating, and cooling account for over 67% of all home energy usage in the United States. You could swap out all your old light bulbs for LEDs, buy new, energy efficient, appliances, and limit your screen time and still wind up paying a fortune in utilities just to heat your home! Here are five ways you can make your home more energy efficient:
1. Install A New Smart Thermostat
New “smart” thermostats are an easy, affordable way to keep comfortable while dramatically increasing the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Unlike traditional thermostats, smart thermostats are programmable to your schedule so that your heating system only works when you’re at home to enjoy the warmth.
According to ENERGY STAR, if every home in America had an efficient smart thermostat, homeowners would save $740 million a year on their heating bill and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 13 billion pounds, the equivalent of taking 1.2 million cars off the road!
2. Wash Your Laundry With Cold Water
Washing your clothes with warm water can use anywhere from 75-90% more energy than using cold water. Warm water will also shrink your clothes, dull their color, and release micro-fibers that are harmful for the environment. The fact is, unless your clothes and linens are heavily soiled or have heavy grease stains, setting your washing machine to cold is just as effective as a warm wash.
3. Insulate Your Attic
The EPA estimates that the average homeowner can save 15% on heating costs by properly insulating their home. To better understand which fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable, we recommend an energy audit. From there, you’d be hard pressed to find a better ‘bang for your buck’ than insulating your attic. The reason is simple: heat rises, so your roof is where your heating bill will naturally want to escape to. According to HouseLogic, homeowners can save up to $600 a year on heating and cooling costs by simply upgrading the R value of their attic insulation!
4. Upgrade Your Water Heater
According to the US Department of Energy, the average homeowner spends anywhere from $400-600 a year on water heating. That accounts for 14-18% of home energy consumption, second only to space heating. Fortunately there are plenty of ways to make your water heating much more efficient without sacrificing having to take cold showers.
Conventional storage water heaters heats and holds anywhere from 30 to 80 gallons of water in a tank. In order to make sure you always have a reserve of hot water, a conventional water heater has to run all day, every day, even when you’re not using it. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, work on-demand, saving the average homeowner at least $100 a year. Even better, heat pump water heaters are 2-3 times more efficient than conventional systems, keeping your hot water flowing while saving you up to $300 a year!
5. Install Geothermal
Any serious attempt at making your home more energy efficient has to deal with the elephant in the room: your heating, cooling and hot water system. Home heating, cooling, and hot water account for 67% of all energy consumption in the average single family house. While there’s all sorts of things you can do to your home to make your existing system work more efficiently, most conventional heating systems are downright inefficient.
Because conventional heating systems generate heat through combustion, some of your heating bill, by definition, has to go up in smoke. Older oil furnaces can operate at anywhere from 65-75% efficiency, while new, high-end, natural gas furnaces will operate at up to 98% efficiency. While that might sound pretty good, a clean, renewable geothermal heating and cooling system will operate at anywhere from 300-600% efficiency!
There’s a reason a 2020 Vox article declared: “nothing else” can match the efficiency of a geothermal heating system. Geothermal systems, or ground source heat pumps, harness thermal energy from the earth and are powered by electricity or solar. By tapping into that renewable heat source under your lawn, every one unit of electricity that goes into a geothermal system will produce 3 to 6 units of heat to keep your family warm.
Additionally, geothermal systems produce hyper-efficient cooling 30-40% better than a conventional central AC during the summer months. So you can keep cool while using a fraction of the electricity a traditional AC system would, all while completely eliminating your separate heating bill.
So what are you waiting for?
Make the switch to Geothermal for as little as $0 down and $150/month.