The summer and winter seasons are usually the times of year when homeowners tend to notice a significant increase in their energy bills – sometimes as much as 40-50 percent more. This means that oftentimes they are literally spending hundreds of more dollars than they would during milder times of the year. And that can put a lot of stress on anyone’s budget.
If you’re someone who can relate to pinching pennies in order to pay your energy expenses when the temperature outside is extreme, you’re in luck. This article is going to share with you six home improvement things that you can do that will help to make the rooms in your house a lot more energy efficient.
Do some landscaping. It might surprise you that one of the best ways to reduce your energy costs is by doing a bit of landscaping, but it’s true. By planting trees and bushes in front of your windows, it helps to shield some of the rooms in your house from harsh weather elements. As a result, you won’t have to adjust your thermostat as much, and that ultimately helps to save you money.
Seal your windows and doors. If it seems like no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get your house to a comfortable temperature, it might be due to the fact that you have some air leaks. That’s why it’s a good idea to conduct an energy audit twice a year. If you do happen to notice that you have a few small cracks and holes in your windows and doors, in most cases, there’s a simple solution. Simply go to your local home improvement store and get some caulking. That will seal everything up and stop the drafts in no time.
Change your window treatments. If you don’t have window treatments up already, that’s definitely something you should consider doing. Not only does it make the interior of your home more aesthetically appealing, but it’s one more way to be energy efficient, too – especially during the winter and summer seasons. By using thermal curtains to keep warm in the winter and blackout curtains to stay cooler in the summer, you can easily see a 20-30 percent decrease in your monthly energy costs.
Add a few fans. Hands down, one of the best things that you can do for your home in order to make it more energy efficient is to add a few fans. For the kitchen and bathroom, exhaust fans will help to reduce the amount of humidity that tends to accumulate while you’re cooking or showering. And by putting a ceiling fan in your living room and bedrooms, you can make the rooms about five degrees cooler in the summer. Plus, if you set it to rotate in a counterclockwise position, it can make those same rooms five degrees warmer too in the winter.
Install some energy efficient upgrades. Something else that you can do that will make a big difference in your energy costs is to install some energy efficient upgrades. Put in a programmable thermostat. Add some LED light bulbs to your lamps. Install an exhaust fan in your kitchen. Add a low-flow showerhead to your bathroom. Little things like these are inexpensive ways to make a really big difference in your home – as much as 30-40 percent of a decrease in your energy usage, in fact.
“Unplug” at the end of the day. Out of all of the energy efficiency tips that have been shared, perhaps the most overlooked one is failing to unplug certain items in your home each evening. The thing to keep in mind is that everything that’s plugged in is using electricity, whether it needs to or not. So before going to bed each night, unplug things like your chargers, your computers, and your light fixtures. It’s another way to pay a lot less money on energy. For more information on how to be energy efficient year round, visit Energy.gov.
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