Earth Day is just around the corner. Every year, on Earth Day, there are programs to educate people on how they can help the environment. One of those ways is by learning how to make your home energy efficient and following simple eco-friendly tips.
Having an energy efficient home will save you money and leave a positive impact on the environment. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average American household spends over $2,000 on home energy costs every year, with peak usage occurring during the summer and winter months. This is why making sure your home is energy efficient is vital. Factors like old appliances or leaky windows and doors can take a toll on your utility bills, but you can manage these costs by following the tips below to become more energy efficient.
Energy Efficiency Home Tips
Having an energy efficient home is much simpler than it has been in the past. There are many energy saving products on the market from low flow shower heads to modern day appliances that can help improve efficiency. Here are a few tips on how to make your home energy efficient, save you money and help improve the environment:
- Natural Light: Use as much natural light throughout the day as possible. This is even helpful during the dreary winter months. The sun rays can naturally warm up a room, especially those facing the south or west. Keep the curtains or blinds open in these rooms throughout the day and soak in that vitamin D.
- Energy Efficient Lighting: Replace old light bulbs with energy saving light bulbs. These use 80% less electricity than traditional bulbs and produce the same amount of light.
- HVAC system Check Up: It’s recommended to schedule an annual, professional furnace checkup to make sure your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible. This is extremely important for older furnaces. Plus, make sure to change the furnace filter on a monthly basis, as a dirty filter can slow down the warm air trying to flow through your home.
- Lower water temperature: Heating the water in your home accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home, so make sure your water heater is set no higher than 130 degrees. You should also consider wrapping your water heater in a specially-made “blanket” to help retain some of the heat inside.
- Turn it off: This might seem like common sense, but people can be forgetful as they’re walking out of a room, leaving lights and electronics on.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats are fairly simple to install, and they allow you to set the temperature at various points throughout the day. You can set it lower temperatures when you’re not at home or sleeping, and set it to turn back up when you’re home and awake. Programmable thermostats can save you an average of 10% on your overall heating and cooling costs.
- Upgrade Appliances: When it is time to replace your older appliances, look for items with the Energy Star label. Appliances that are Energy Star certified use less energy, and reduce the impact on the environment by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. They also save money by reducing your energy bills.
Energy Saving LEED Certified Green Buildings
Businesses can also be eco-friendly, energy efficient and help their budget at the same time. ezStorage is proud to be part of the green movement in the self-storage industry. Our two latest facilities have earned LEED certification. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a certification program of the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED has a rating system for new buildings constructed that have less impact on the environment and offer a comfortable workplace for employees.
Our Charles Village self-storage location in downtown Baltimore is our first LEED Certified building. The facility was renovated from an existing building into a state-of-the-art, green and environmentally efficient storage facility. Our Elkridge self-storage location in Elkridge, Maryland was a “new-build” that fully integrated green standards in the building process in order to receive the LEED Gold Certification. The facility has 58 percent energy savings compared to a non-certified building, and it incorporates native and adaptive plant species in the landscaping to eliminate the need for permanent irrigation systems. During the construction process, 175 tons of construction debris was recycled instead of sending it to a landfill and a high reflectivity roof membrane was installed to decrease energy demand for the building.
By incorporating energy efficient appliances and accessories, turning off lights, televisions and computers and recycling, you can help your home or business be eco-friendly and help out the environment every day of the year, not just on Earth Day.