April 22nd marks the celebration of Earth Day – a day dedicated to environmental protection. If you’re a homeowner, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption throughout your home.
Not only will these steps allow you to reduce your ecological footprint, but it may reduce your energy consumption to provide savings on your utility bills.
So, use this opportunity to assess your home and see where you can improve!
The Allstate Good Hands Advice team have developed these 10 simple tips to help make your home more efficient.
- Keep the fridge and the freezer full – Did you know a full refrigerator and freezer requires less energy? When full, your fridge and freezer are better able to maintain the temperature of the food, creating the potential to save money on your electric bill.
- Clean the refrigerator coils – Coils are the black undulating tubes located at the back or under the refrigerator. Cleaning them is a great way to reduce your electricity bill and extend their service life. If dust, dirt, and debris gathers on your fridge’s coils, it can cause your fridge to use more energy to keep your food cool and may increase the risk of a breakdown.
- Perform maintenance on your water heater – Drain your water heater to remove sediment and have it serviced by a professional to ensure optimum performance.
- Upgrade your older appliances – If your dishwasher or washing machine is more than 10 years old, consider replacing them with more energy-efficient models. Some can even reduce the amount of hot water used, potentially lowering your water bill as well.
- Close your curtains or blinds – In the summer, close curtains or blinds on the windows that are exposed to direct sunlight to avoid heating the house, requiring more of your air conditioner. In the winter, opening them can warm a room naturally. But, on particularly cold days, close the curtains or blinds to help prevent heat loss and reduce the heating bill.
- Clean or change your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner filters – Be sure to clean or change the filters on your heating or air conditioning equipment to ensure air is flowing freely through your system. A dirty or obstructed filter can make your unit work unnecessarily harder, increasing energy consumption and potentially increasing heating or electrical bills.
- Ban the “Sleep/Standby” mode! – Sleep mode (or Standby mode), available on game consoles, computers and other devices, allows you to turn them on faster when you need them. However, this mode steadily consumes power in the background. You should avoid using this mode over long periods of time or even at night, if possible.
- Switch to LED or smart light bulbs – LED lighting saves on energy bills because they use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. For more flexibility, smart bulbs, although initially more expensive to purchase, can be controlled remotely or according to predefined rules, which could help you to reduce electricity use.
- Electronic or smart thermostats – Equip your home with electronic or intelligent thermostats. These offer better control over your heating or air conditioning, which can save energy use all year round.
- Eco friendly home improvement – If you are the owner of your home, there are many other ways to make it more energy efficient. For example, using solar panels to reduce the use of electricity or natural gas, or choosing building materials that improve insulation. There are many options available, so we recommend seeking an expert to advise you.
It’s often easier than you think to reduce your ecological footprint at home and do your part for the environment. Changing a few small habits or appliances can make a big difference not only the environment but potentially your bills as well!
Other simple solutions include planning meals to reduce waste (saving you time, too!), planting a tree that will shade your house in the summer, making your own natural soap, composting to create fertilizer for your vegetable garden, and more.
By putting many of these tips into practice year-round, you will be able to say that you celebrate Earth Day every day!
The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.