With all the accumulated negative impact on the environment, more and more people are looking into what they can do to help on their part. An eco-friendly lifestyle that involves rethinking your consumption, dieting habits and transportation mode is a great way to start in an effort to reduce your carbon footprint. But making your home energy efficient has the most positive impact in the long run, and it doesn't have to be complicated at all. Besides, gas and electric bill prices for the whole world are expected to go up in 2018, so introducing some changes to your home regarding its use of energy is sure to also make things easier on your wallet. Here are some things you could do over the weekend, one by one.
Schedule a home energy audit
Bringing a professional in to evaluate the energy efficiency of your home is not something that brings immediate results but it is really the smartest way to start. You'll know where you're at and they will tell you what needs to be done and which improvements would be the most cost-effective for you. Since the majority of homes are wasting energy due to inadequate insulation, you can discuss with a contractor how long it would take to insulate all the ceilings, walls and attics and how much it would cost. This intervention does not really fall under the category of easy", hence the recommendation to consult professionals when you have free time.
Sealing windows and ducts will ensure no energy is being wasted and save you money on heating and cooling. You can do this at almost zero cost by making draft blockers (also known as door pillows). Even if you are not very crafty, they are really easy to make and can be a lot of fun. Especially if you have kids, include them in this little weekend project and make some cute snake or wiener dog shapes.
Do a bit of weekend gardening
Nature provides great insulation, and by planting some trees and tall bushes outside of your home you will provide protection from the sun on hot days and chilly winds during winter. Planting deciduous trees on the south and west side of your house will provide shade in the summer, but since their leaves fall off during autumn, you will get all the precious rays of light in the winter season. To deflect winds and save on heating, plant evergreens and shrubs on the north and west side.
Doing a little landscaping won't take too long and it's a great way to spend time outdoors and relax while being productive. So get the equipment you need, roll up your sleeves, and get your hands dirty for the good of the planet!
The number of households and businesses that are replacing all their lighting with LEDs is continuously increasing, and this practice will expand even more in 2018. When looking at all the statistics provided by Azoogi Australia, it's no wonder people are turning to light-emitting diodes to save money: experts report that many Australian households who have adopted LED lighting reduced their annual lighting cost by 50%, which is a huge cut especially when considering that lighting takes up to 15% of the electricity bill. The reason behind this is that LEDs use almost all of the given energy for lighting, whereas incandescent bulbs use only 10% of the energy to emit light and the other 90% to emit heat.
Also, diodes emit light differently from all other forms of lighting hemispherically instead of spherically, which means their light is aimed in a specific direction so a lot less of it is wasted. Head to the store and make this easy but effective adjustment, keeping in mind that on average, every dollar you spend on lighting upgrades will pay back about six times over.
Technology is constantly improving to bring us new innovations and make energy efficiency more accessible to everyone. Make use of this and head out for some smart shopping this weekend. Getting a programmable thermostat can save you up to 10% on energy costs and it's a very smart way to avoid overheating or overcooling your home while letting your body adjust to the temperature. Also, if you need new appliances look for energy star certified ones that have the HE logo they may cost more, but it is a smart investment.
Being mindful of how your home is consuming its energy is admirable, and as you can see, it doesn't have to be complicated. You can start by introducing smaller changes and doing little weekend projects. You don't need to do it all at once and overwhelm yourself make it a little, let's say "hobby" to look forward to each weekend and you will be proud of both yourself and your home.