If you are like many homeowners, then you’ve probably recently become aware of how much your home affects the environment; if you haven’t been aware of this fact for longer. People are becoming much more aware of how their lives affect the surrounding environment, especially with the discovery of global warming. This has led many people to begin leading a more sustainable lifestyle. Doing so has more than one benefit: not only does living a more sustainable lifestyle benefit the environment; it can benefit your wallet as well.

The following are five steps that you can take to make your home more energy efficient in order to reduce the negative effect you have on the environment and to save money as well.

More Energy Efficient Home lighting

Energy Efficient Home lighting—Amrith Thandra (Flickr.com)

1. Reduce Energy Leaks

Many homes, especially older homes, are more prone to leaks. This means that outdoor air leaks into the home and indoor air leaks out. This is a problem because your heating and cooling systems will be constantly working in order to achieve your desired temperature because it will have to replace lost air. Not only does this take more energy to do, it adds additional wear and tear to your HVAC unit, which can lead to the need for repairs or replacement.

To reduce energy leaks around the home, consider upgrading your old windows. Newer windows tend to seal air in much better, not to mention new glazes prevent the sun’s heat from penetrating the home. You should also consider adding or improving insulation in your home as well for the very same reason.

2. Upgrade Appliances

Appliances tend to use a lot of energy, especially your refrigerator and stove. By upgrading these appliances to more energy efficient models, you can be saving a lot of money on your energy bills over the long term. Be sure to look for the Energy Star label, which is used by the Environmental Protection Agency to designate appliances that have exceeded their energy efficiency standards.

3. Upgrade Water Fixtures

Many water fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets, tend to waste an unnecessary amount of water. Upgrade these fixtures with WaterSense labeled low-flow fixtures. These will reduce the water use without reducing performance.

4. Invest in Solar Panels – Solar Energy &  Efficiency

Solar power is the most energy efficient heating and lighting system that you can invest in. If you are spending over $50 a month on your electricity bill (or if you just want to lessen your impact on the environment), then investing in solar panels is a seriously good idea. Although the initial investment may seem steep, you can end up saving an incredible amount of money over the long term. In fact, by simply installing solar panels you can take advantage of federal tax credits. They often offer rebates as well as an incentive for investing in more sustainable features.

5. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Changing your thermostat settings wastes a lot of energy. Not to mention the fact that you probably leave your desired settings on even when you leave the home. A programmable thermostat will allow you to set the thermostat to automatically change temperatures at certain times. This is a huge benefit if the house empties out during the day because you’re at work and your kids are at school. There’s no point in running the air conditioner or the heat when the house is empty – this just wastes a huge amount of energy. By being able to carefully regulate your temperature using a programmable thermostat, you’ll be cutting down on a huge amount of wasted energy.

This article was written by Nicole, a blogger who has spent many years researching the best ways each of us can do our part to save the environment. She recommends www.solarmyworld.com.au as a great solar company.

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