Earth Day reminds us all of the individual actions we can take to help our planet, and going green with your home is one way you can have a positive impact on our environment. Plus, there are many perks to living in an eco-friendly home. Reduced energy costs, a decreased carbon footprint, and a healthier quality of life are just the beginning. Many Americans are turning to greener homes with newer technology for these reasons and more. Manufactured homes built today have a special focus on sustainability, but how can you update your current home to save energy too?
1: Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, about 15% of your household energy consumption can be attributed to your appliances. Refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers typically consume the most energy in a home. Next time you upgrade your appliances, be sure to look for products with a blue ENERGY STAR label. Many brands offer ENERGY STAR appliances for you to choose from that will fit your needs and your home’s aesthetic, while keeping your home as energy efficient as possible. Additionally, some utility companies offer rebates to customers who purchase ENERGY STAR appliances, so don’t forget to see if your purchase qualifies!
2: Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Looking for a quick and easy way to save both money and energy? Try energy-efficient light bulbs. By replacing your most-used light bulbs with new incandescent bulbs, you can save an average of $75 per year and up to 80% of the energy used by regular bulbs. Check the packaging for the ENERGY STAR label to find certified light bulbs and save even more. Need another reason to make the switch? These types of light bulbs can last up to 25 times longer than normal bulbs. That’s less time on the ladder and more money in your pocket.
3: Install Programmable Thermostats
Another easy way to cut down on energy consumption is to install a programmable thermostat. These devices optimize the temperature of your home, reducing both the amount of energy you use and the amount of your monthly utility bill. Programmable thermostats can save you hundreds of dollars if used correctly. Take it one step further and invest in a smart thermostat such as a Nest Thermostat, which can be controlled by an app on your smartphone. You are able to set a schedule so the device will automatically adjust itself at certain times; for example, you could start saving money and energy by setting it to automatically turn your air off while you are at work. Because of the Nest’s abilities, it is the first thermostat in America with an ENERGY STAR certification. Although these devices can be a little pricey, they typically pay for themselves within two years.
4: Use Ceiling Fans
Did you know that ventilation is the “least expensive and most energy-efficient way to cool a home,” according to the Department of Energy? While running an air conditioning unit can be costly, ceiling fans can help you save energy and money while keeping you cool. Switching your current ceiling fans to ones with the ENERGY STAR label can move your air 20% more efficiently, on average, than standard models. Due to changes in air movement, make sure your fan is running counterclockwise during the summer and clockwise during the winter for the highest efficiency. Remember to turn those fans off when you leave the room for more savings.
5: Unplug Charging Devices
Chargers for cell phones, laptops, and other wireless devices still use energy even when they aren’t actively charging your devices. Unplug them when they’re not in use to save money and energy. If your chargers are plugged into a hard-to-reach outlet, making it difficult to quickly unplug them when you’re done, check out these energy-saving power switches. They draw zero energy when the switch is in the “off” position. These handy devices are inexpensive and can help you save money in the long run.
No matter your budget, there are numerous ways to make your own home more energy-efficient. If you want to learn more about ENERGY STAR options and ways they could enhance your eco-friendly home, visit our partners at ManufacturedHomes.com for more information. Stay up to date with the latest manufactured housing tips and industry updates by following FMHA on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) or joining our mailing list!