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9 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Small and big ways to save energy within your home

9 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Small and big ways to save energy within your home

Smiling Hispanic couple sitting on porch outdoors

More and more people want to make their homes energy efficient to save money and increase their value. While some projects take lots of time and effort to complete, even making one or two small changes can still make an impact. Here is a list of energy-saving tips—both large and small—that you can incorporate into your home.

1. Change your air filter

Dirty HVAC filters slow down air flow and make your system work harder to warm and cool your home. Changing the air filter every 90 days prevents dirt buildup that can lead to expensive system maintenance and repairs. Regularly changing your air filter keeps the air in your home cleaner, too.

2. Tune up your heating and cooling system

An annual heating and cooling system tune up can improve efficiency, comfort, and longevity. Refer to Energy Star’s® maintenance checklist and its guide to finding the right contractor. A qualified technician will inspect your systems for damage or deterioration to ensure that your heating and cooling system doesn’t use more energy than it needs to function well within your home.

3. Install a programmable thermostat

This is useful when you are frequently away from home since you can control your temperature settings from a distance. A smart thermostat can help you save on your energy bill by preprogramming your routine and preferred temperature. Compared to manual thermostats, programmable thermostats can allow you to set a more precise temperature, too.

4. Seal heating and cooling ducts

Sealing and insulating ducts can improve heating and cooling efficiency by 20 percent. Start with ducts in your attic, crawlspaces, basement, and garage. After sealing these ducts, wrap them in insulation. Then, look for other ducts you can seal and insulate. Learn more in this Duct Sealing Fact Sheet.

5. Add insulation

Adding insulation to your attic, crawl spaces, basement, and exterior walls is another great way to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. According to HomeAdvisor , insulation is one of the best long-term investments you can make in your house. Even with expensive materials and installation, you’ll recoup that money with lower utility bills, over time.

6. Switch to energy-efficient windows and doors

Storm windows and doors save energy and improve the comfort of your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy , installing exterior storm windows can help you save 12–33%, annually, on your energy bill. Not only can energy-efficient designs help you retain heat in winter and stay cool in the summer, but energy-efficient skylights can also help minimize your lighting costs during the daytime.

7. Install an energy-efficient hot water heater

According to the Department of Energy , water heating is the third-largest home energy expense and accounts for about 12% of your energy bill. Reduce your usage by installing an energy-efficient tank or a tankless water heater. If you’re not financially in a position to replace your existing water heater, you can start by using less hot water or by turning down your water heater’s thermostat. Insulating your existing water heater will help keep the water warm, as well as cutting down on energy costs.

8. Upgrade existing appliances

Updating to an energy-efficient washer and dryer can reduce both your electric and water bill because of the reduced energy they require. Energy-efficient refrigerators contain improved insulation to keep items cooler with less energy. Try looking for appliances with an Energy Star® rating via their Most Efficient qualified products list, as these products have been proven to cut down on energy expenses, compared to older, unrated technology.

9. Install more efficient lighting

Not only does energy-efficient lighting cut down on energy costs, but it also cuts down on carbon emissions. LED light bulbs often last longer than traditional bulbs while still using the same amount of light. Plus, energy-efficient bulbs are frequently recyclable, too, so there’s an environmental benefit, in addition to the energy costs you’ll save.

Bonus tip: Consider solar energy

Converting to a solar energy plan is a big project, but it can also have big rewards. Switching to solar energy can help lower (or, sometimes, entirely eliminate) your electric bill. If you’d like to learn more about developing your own personalized solar energy plan, learn more here.

Talk to Freedom Mortgage about your homeownership needs

You can get the cash you need to make energy-efficient upgrades by tapping into your home's equity with a cash out refinance. If you’re in the process of looking for a new home in which to incorporate these energy-efficient tips, Freedom Mortgage can help you get prequalified over the phone or online. Whatever your home loan needs are, we’re here to help!

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