SAN ANTONIO - Today people are getting more interested in making energy-efficient houses for many different reasons but ultimately to save money. There is one thing that has stopped many people from making their house more energy-efficient. They wonder if doing it will cost them too much money which would defeat the purpose in the first place.
Sure, if you’re planning to install a solar water heater or rebuild your house to be more environment-friendly, you can take out your wallet and make sure there’re no holes inside, but really, making your house energy efficient is neither too expensive, nor too time-consuming.
In fact, some simple steps that you can take will easily do the job for you.
- Turn off lights and fans/A/Cs when you’re not in the room.
- Set you’re A/C temperature at 78 fahrenheit. That is cool enough to keep you comfortable. Keep it at a temperature that won’t use up too much electricity. Also, if the weather outside is pleasant, opt to open a window rather than turning on the A/C.
- Plant trees and shrubs outside your house. Another thing you can do is to extend your window sill on whichever side you’re more comfortable with, and place pots there.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs. CFLs are not only more energy-efficient, they also last longer. In fact, CFLs are so energy-efficient that if you leave the room for short periods of time, leaving the light on will consume less energy than turning it off. Sometimes, however, people are not comfortable with the light that CFLs give out. In such cases, just remember that yellow light takes up a lot more energy than white light, and that tube lights are also a healthier option than bulbs.
- Make sure your walls are properly insulated. This prevents the heat outside from filtering in on hot days, and the heat from inside filtering out during winter. If your house has no wall insulation, blown-in insulation will help save enough energy to be cost-effective.
- If you are changing your windows, consider replacing them with energy-efficient models. If replacing your windows is not an option, consider installing a UV blocking window film.
- Repair all leaking faucets and pipes. This should save you quite some water. Remember to turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth or washing dishes, etc. Also, install energy efficient shower heads.
- Make sure your air conditioner is always running at peak efficiency. Clean air filters at least once a month; dirty filters consume a lot of energy.
- And lastly, schedule an energy audit for expert advice on your home. Conduct a home energy audit to determine the largest savings potential for your house. You can either conduct one yourself, or call an independent auditor for a more detailed examination.