In today’s digital age, there are ways to use technology in our homes to improve energy efficiency and help reduce our carbon footprint. These technologies can range from something small, such as a new energy star microwave, to something big, such as installing solar panels. There are benefits to transforming your home into more of an eco-home, even if the changes are small to begin with.
Start by completing a do-it-yourself home energy assessment to see where you may be losing energy. Addressing ways to reduce your home’s energy consumption is not only a great choice environmentally but benefits you as well! Incorporating smart technology can be an easy and fun way to improve energy efficiency at home while saving you money in the long run.
Incorporate Small Smart Technology
There are many ways to improve energy efficiency surrounding lighting in your home. Swapping regular bulbs for LED bulbs is the most common way to reduce energy consumption with your home lighting. You may want to consider installing motion sensor light switches that will automatically turn lights off when a room has no activity, further reducing energy usage.
A smart home voice assistant can also offer multiple features to help save energy. You can program your voice assistant to use voice commands to turn off lights and electronics such as your tv, sound system, or video game console. A smart assistant can also link with smart thermostats, smoke detectors, and home security systems, which gives you remote access in addition to providing a level of sophistication to your smart home.
Modernize Heating and Cooling
It’s beneficial to have your home’s heating and cooling system inspected annually. If you have a system that is more than 15 years old, look into the cost of having a new system installed. Consider an upgraded system with an energy efficiency certification, but first work with a professional to see if your current heating and cooling system can support smart thermostat technology.
Smart thermostats give the homeowner better control of their home’s indoor temperature. A smart thermostat notices patterns and can help regulate the temperature of your home depending on times when you may be home or away. Over time, this will help reduce your energy bill.
For a big reduction in energy costs in your home, look into geothermal heating and cooling. Geothermal systems use the consistent temperature of the earth to power a heat pump to warm or cool your home. While they do have a high cost to install initially, they can cut monthly heating and cooling bills in half!
Embrace Solar Energy
Another large piece of smart tech you can incorporate into your home is solar technology. Depending on certain factors, you may be able to have solar panels installed onto your existing roof. Keep in mind tree coverage, the age of your current roof, and which direction your roof faces. By working with a professional, you will be able to determine the best way to install solar for your home.
If you prefer the look of a more traditional roof, solar shingles are another option to embrace this technology for your home. Considering the cost of a typical new roof, a solar installation can come with an even higher price tag. With this being a long-term investment for your home, think about your options to fund this upgrade if you choose this route.
Before starting your home upgrade, research funding options available to you, whether using a credit card, savings, or a loan. As a homeowner, you may choose to finance a large-scale project. There are opportunities with using a home equity line of credit or choosing to explore options with a personal loan or a personal line of credit. Determine what type of financing is best for you as you make plans to reduce energy usage in your home.
Update Older Appliances
The kitchen is likely the room with the most appliances in your house. Upgrading to energy-efficient kitchen appliances can help reduce your home's carbon footprint. Older appliances, typically 15 years or older, are less likely to be Energy Star certified.
Your refrigerator and dishwasher are two examples of appliances that have improved their energy efficiency immensely over the years, so it’s worthwhile to see if you should upgrade those first. For example, dishwashers today use not only less power but also significantly less water.
Your home’s washer and dryer can tend to use excess energy and water. Upgrading to an energy star rating for these appliances will add efficiencies to your energy and water savings. Air purifiers, dehumidifiers, microwaves, air fryers, etc. are all small appliances that still draw energy. It can be helpful to assess the energy rating on these as well and upgrade as you see fit.
After you assess your home’s energy assessment, take the time to research and plan what upgrades you can make in your home to reduce energy use. Updating your home for a sustainable future has benefits for future generations. Whether your upgrades are small or big, any change is better than no change!