There are small adjustments homeowners can make in their homes and everyday lifestyles to lower energy bills this summer.
- Save 1-2% on usage by replacing air conditioner filters monthly to help the air systems run longer.
- Save 2% on energy usage by checking for leaky doors and windows; they should be weather-striped, sealed, and caulked.
- Setting your thermostat to 78 degrees when home, 85 degrees when away, and using ceiling fans will assist in the air movement and cooling of the room. Save 1-3% per degree that thermostat is set above 72 degrees.
- Replacing products such as light bulbs, light fixtures, appliances, etc. with Energy Star products and appliances can save 1-4%.
- Changing habits to use appliances wisely and without waste can save up to 2%; this includes unplugging electronic devices and turning off computers at the power strip. Also, unplugging and recycling the spare refrigerator in the garage can save up to 20%.
When purchasing your next home, consider looking for an Energy Star-qualified home. These homes have passed strict guidelines for energy efficiency by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes have better indoor air quality and extra measures to protect the environment.
Energy efficient improvements in these homes can save property owners from $200 to $400 per year on utility bills. EcoBroker Sophia Cardenas suggests having sunshades, canopies, green screens, and especially trees requiring little or no water to provide shade to the outside of the home, especially southern-facing portions of the structure. Cardenas also recommends [t4]dual-glaze windows to reduce heat gain in the summer months.
Using a Green realtor for your next home purchase can also help the consumer evaluate key features to look for. “The green home should be designed and situated on its parcel to take advantage of natural lighting and prevailing breezes to use less electricity and air conditioning. To bring in more interior light into a green home, windows, skylights, light monitors, clerestories, light shelves, and other accessories should be incorporated,” said Cardenas.
Other factors in determining a green home is location, size, building design, materials, and indoor quality.By Monica Pena