There are many reasons you should be living in an energy-efficient home. It saves money, it’s better for the environment, and it might be easier than you think.

 

Here are a few ways to start living energy-efficient in your home.

 

  1. Windows

This is a great first step towards saving money in the long-run, and living more qualitatively in your home, though it can be an investment for the short-term. According to Energy.gov, to improve your windows, you can begin by adding caulking and/or weather-stripping to reduce the amount of air leaking from your home. This means keeping heat in during the winter, and coolness in the summer. The site suggests using weather-stripping which can withstand temperature changes, friction and weather. The site also suggests using window treatments, like blinds, drapery and curtains to keep sunlight from heating up the inside of the house during warmer months.

 

  1. Unplug your Appliances!

Energy.gov said this small, simple fix could save up to 10 percent on your energy bill.

“Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These “phantom” loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances,” according to the site.

 

It starts with simple appliances, such as toasters, game consoles, cable boxes and TVs. A cable box alone racks up about $18 per year. Energy.gov stated that a good way to keep from wasting that money is to use a power strip, which easily switches off each standby appliance that’s plugged into it.

 

  1. Replace those light bulbs

Replacing standard light fixtures with CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs) can save money and provide the same amount of light. According to SCE.com, a 14 watt CFL uses 1/4th the amount of energy of a 60-watt incandescent bulb. Recent surveys also suggest 65 percent of Americans have made the switch to more efficient bulbs, with 46 percent choosing CFL lights over LEDs and Halogens, according to the 2013 OSRAM Sylvania Socket Survey.

 

Overall, an efficient home is a quality home, and will make your living experience less expensive and often more comfortable in the long-run.

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