Screen Shot 2013-04-19 at 10.00.47 AMIn a world with soaring energy costs and warmer temperatures, more and more people are looking to make their homes more energy efficient and therefore ‘green’.

Many people don’t know where to start or are overwhelmed with what needs to be done.


What are the benefits of making your home energy efficient?

  1. You are doing your part in making the world a greener place.
  2. Reducing your energy expenditure for space heating and cooling.
  3. Higher resale and/or leasing values & marketability.
  4. Enhanced environmental quality & decreased pollution.
  5. Energy efficiency can also boost the local economy and create downward pressure on natural gas prices and volatility.

Here are several ways that you can make your home energy efficient:

  1. Insulate walls and attic. By insulating all the walls and attic in the house you are stopping heat from escaping during the winter or flow into the house during the summer. This will reduce both the cost and the need to heat and cool the house during the respective months.
  2. Caulk the exterior. Take a caulk gun and fill in any gaps around the exterior. Key places to caulk would be anywhere there are pipes running into the house, around doors and window frames and any cracks in the exterior wall. This will reduce air flow into the house and help the house to retain it’s heat.
  3. Plant shade trees and shrubs. By planting shade trees and shrubs around the house, you are creating an extra layer of protection from the sun’s radiation throughout the summer and an extra source of heat during the winter. And, of course, the yard will look beautiful.
  4. Replace existing light-bulbs with CFLs. Replacing the existing light-bulbs in the house with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), will reduce energy use by 3/4 compared to incandescent light-bulbs.
  5. Improve efficiency of your water heater system. There are 3 things you can do aside from buying a new water heater. 1) Turn your water heater down to the warm setting. 2) Insulate the hot water pipes. This will prevent the water from cooling down as quickly in between uses. 3) Use low-flow fixtures for the showers and baths.
  6. Upgrade or replace windows. Replacing windows, especially single-glazed windows, with Energy Star-rated replacements will improve your energy usage by 7-24 percent.
  7. Change your air filter. Check your air filter regularly. If it is dirty then replace it. This should be done at least every 3 months. A dirty filter will block the air flow and make the system work harder to heat or cool the house.
  8. Use solar film or solar shades on windows. Reflect heat, and therefore lower cooling costs, by shielding exterior windows with solar film or solar shades.
  9. Replace your refrigerator. This essential appliance is also the most energy-guzzling appliance. Replacing your refrigerator with a new Energy Star-rated refrigerator will see a 20-40% difference in energy use and cost.