Low-cost energy upgrades
Making a few efficient changes around your home can save you money with a small bit of time and money. Programmable thermostats are an inexpensive, money saving, option to lower your utility bills. You can also replace current light bulbs with LED light bulbs. Each LED light bulb may be a bit costly compared to regular light bulbs, but they last longer and take considerably less energy to light. One option is only to replace those light bulbs that you use most often and as time goes along replace the remaining bulbs. Another money saving tip is to replace the air filters as often as recommended. The frequency may be less often in a vacation home or more often in a primary residence with pets. All of the energy-upgrades mentioned above take little time and are relatively low-cost ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home.
Moderate cost energy upgrades
These next suggestions may require a bit more time and are a higher cost, but the savings can add up quickly. Insulating your attic and crawlspaces can make a big difference when it comes to heating and cooling your home. Replacing weather stripping around doors can block off airflow from the outside. Strategically placing your landscaping like trees and shrubs to block heat in the summer can help with keeping your house cool. Replacing older toilets with low flow types saves a large amount of water with each flush. You can also use low flow faucet aerators which replace some of the water with air thus, saving water.
Higher cost energy upgrades
The last few suggestions are true investments into your home. These will be large ticket items that make your home a more enjoyable space and energy efficient. Replacing windows and doors that have leaks can bring considerable energy savings benefits. Besides, new windows can bring in more light which can lead to turning on the lights less. Old furnaces and water heaters are major energy wasters. You could see immediate improvement in your utility bills when replacing these with more modern equipment. Kitchen appliances with the energy star ratings cost much less to operate than the older models some houses still use. Finally, if you are progressive, you may want to look into installing solar panels that soak up even the smallest amount of sunlight to heat or cool your home.
Check out some open houses in your area and check out the energy efficient options.