How to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient

One of the concerns among homeowners lately is making their homes as energy efficient as possible. Doing so is not only good for the environment by conserving our natural resources, but it can lower your heating and cooling bills as well. Here are a few things you can do to keep your home as energy efficient as possible.

Improve your lighting. Skylights are placed on your home’s ceilings to allow natural light into your room. This allows you to use less artificial lighting, which will save you money on your electric bill and save energy as well. Another option in regards to lighting is to replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. These save ¾ of the electricity used by the regular bulbs and last much longer, too.

Improve your water system. There are a few ways to improve the hot water situation in your home. Installing low-flow, energy efficient fixtures in your shower or bath is a very simple upgrade. You can also turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting. Lastly, insulating your water lines will prevent them from cooling down as quickly between uses.

Practice proper ventilation. It’s commonly known that hot air rises, so in warmer months opening a few windows will release the heat and cool down your home without the use of air conditioning or central air.

Install the proper insulation. To keep your home warm during colder months and cooler during warmer months, it’s important to have quality insulation. Insulation slows the rate that heat flows in and out of your house. Speak to a professional about which type will work best for your home and watch as you have to use your heating units less and less.

Try solar heating. Although it’s certainly not for everyone, solar heating is an eco-friendly option. The solar heating panels collect the sun’s heat and transfer it to a collector or directly into your home. This is a great way to take advantage of sunny weather and reduce your carbon footprint.

Check doors and windows. Old windows and doors may need to be replaced if they are old or leaky. There are a variety of more energy-efficient windows on the market today if you are looking to completely replace them. If not, checking for any cracks or gaps can help prevent air from coming in and out. The same goes for your doors- make sure to check the bottom, top and sides for any drafts. Any open spots should be caulked so they are airtight.

Change filters. Something that is often forgotten about is changing the filters. You should periodically change the filters on your furnace and air conditioner, for example. This will keep the machines clean and running smoothly and more efficiently.

Make Your Kitchen Eco-Friendly

There are a variety of ways to help keep each of the rooms in your home as eco-friendly as possible. A popular option for your kitchen includes choosing the right type of cabinets. In addition to how you remodel your kitchen, you can help the environment in other ways such as choosing the right foods, appliances and cleaning products.

One way to “go green” in regards to your kitchen is to use eco-friendly cleaning products. There is a large market out there for all natural products. It’s important to check the labels when shopping to ensure that the products are in fact eco-friendly. If shopping for new products isn’t in your budget, you can use a lot of household items to get the job done as well. Baking soda and water, lemons and vinegar are all natural cleaning agents that work on different areas of your kitchen. Keep your family and food protected from harmful chemicals by choosing eco-friendly products.

Choosing eco-friendly appliances and accessories is another way to help the environment. An easy way is to look for the Energy Star symbol and choose brands that state in their company policy that their

products are energy efficient. Items to pay special attention to are efficient range hoods, induction cooktops and refrigerators to save energy and power. Pay attention to the lighting in your kitchen- simply switching your bulbs to energy-efficient ones can make a large difference. Investing in a water filtration system/faucet is far more eco-friendly than drinking from plastic water bottles.

The purpose of your kitchen is to prepare and store the food you and your family consume. Paying extra attention to your food choices can make a large difference for the environment. Shop locally when you can- farmer’s markets and family-owned shops are great alternatives to supermarket chains. This not only reduces shipping costs, but lowers the amount of fuel emitted into the air due to transportation.

A few other ways to keep your kitchen eco-friendly is to participate in your town or city’s recycling program, start composting your kitchen waste and conserving your water use when washing food or dishes.