With rising spring and summer temperatures right around the corner, many Austin homeowners are looking for ways to save on energy costs. There are tons of changes you can make around your home to help reduce your carbon footprint and lower the amount of energy used in your home. Check out our top tips to make your home more energy-efficient:
1. Programmable Thermostat- One of the simplest and inexpensive ways to control your energy costs is to install a programmable thermostat. Many models allow you to set schedules to run your HVAC system while you're at home and turn off or run less when you’re away. High-tech models like Nest can also be controlled from your smartphone. Austin Energy even offers rebates for customers who install a programmable thermostat and participate in their energy cycling program.
2. Energy-Efficient Lighting- Another easy fix to conserve energy is to replace ordinary light bulbs in your home with LED and CHL lighting. These types of bulbs last longer and use less energy than traditional bulbs.
3. Energy-Efficient Windows- Replacing the current windows in your home with Energy Star rated models can help reduce the cooling costs of your home. These windows block UV rays that heat up your home. If replacing your home’s windows isn’t in the budget, consider installing solar screens, blinds, or other window treatments to block the sun and keep your home cool.
4. Proper Insulation- Small leaks around your home can allow air to escape to the outdoors instead of cooling your home. Help keep your air conditioner from working overtime by sealing cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and other openings in your home.
5. Water Conservation- Installing low flow toilets and water fixtures can help reduce the amount of water you use daily. You could also consider installing a rainwater collection system. These systems catch rainfall and store it for use in your home, like in sprinkler systems. Both ways can help you see savings on your water bill.
6. Tankless Water Heater- Replacing your hot water tank with a tankless water heater system can help you save space in your home as well as save energy. These systems only heat up water that is in use, which helps you lower your utility costs.
7. Energy-Efficient Appliances- Running the dishwasher, stove, and washer and dryer can quickly drive up your energy costs. Replacing older models with new energy-efficient ones can help you conserve energy and reduce costs. Some energy companies may also offer incentives when you run these appliances during off-peak hours, like after 8 pm.
8. Landscaping- Let nature help you make your home beautiful and energy-efficient. Large trees can help block sunlight and shade your yard or pool for use in the spring and summer. Choose plants that require less water and group them together by the amount of water they need to avoid overwatering. Use mulch to keep plants cool and hold in moisture for less watering.
9. Solar Panels- The biggest change you can make toward energy-efficiency is to install solar panels on the roof of your home. Aside from energy savings, homeowners with solar panels may also be eligible for tax breaks or rebates from their energy company. This is an expensive change, so it’s important to do your research and make sure the savings of this renewable energy source outweigh the installation costs. A professional can inspect your roof and make sure your home is properly positioned to generate solar energy.
10. Lifestyle Changes- While considering making changes around your home to save energy, don’t overlook the most important factor- you! Changing your daily habits can make an impact on your energy savings. Keep lights off in rooms you aren’t using. Unplug appliances that aren’t in use. Turn on the ceiling fan instead of turning up the AC. These are simple changes that can help you see savings on your energy costs. We hope these suggestions help you create a more energy-efficient home.
Need a place to call home where you can start seeing energy savings? Our agents are ready to help you find one that meets your needs. Contact us for more information about Austin real estate.