Saving Money and Protecting the Environment

If you live on the east coast, you know first-hand just how costly those energy bills can get… no matter what time of the year it is. Heating and cooling energy costs skyrocket during the coldest and hottest parts of the year, and at times, it can seem impossible for you to keep your home energy efficient.

What if there was a way to save on those costs and reduce energy? Luckily for you, we have a few tricks up our sleeve. There are many ways to create an energy-efficient home without having to spend money to save money. Those most cost-effective strategies for keeping your home energy efficient are also friendly to the environment. It’s a win-win!

Starting with the Simple Stuff

Seal Air Leaks

First of all, let’s think about the home as a system. You have the bones of the house; doors, windows, walls, and (maybe) an attic. The first step you can take to reduce the amount of energy you use is to make sure those places are well-insulated and properly sealed. If they aren’t, replacing old insulation and seals is a great (and fairly simple) spring project!

Proper insulation by air sealing within the home helps to prevent air leaks, which is important regardless of what time of the year it is. Keep the heat or the cold air in year-round by checking your insulation every year at least.

Time to Unplug

Look around your home, how many things do you have plugged into the walls? You may be surprised by how much you will save on energy and electricity costs by unplugging the unpluggable(s) when they aren’t in use.

Here are some examples of things you can unplug to keep your home energy efficient:
  • Monitors
  • Lights/lamps that aren’t in use
  • Battery Cords
  • Chargers
  • Extension Cords and Cables
  • Space Heaters
  • Fans

Little to No-Cost Solutions

Here are a few more of our favorite, most effective ways that cost little to nothing and will save you money on total energy and utility bills in the long run.


There are so many other ways to save on home energy costs. For instance, it may cost a little to purchase incandescent bulbs, but replacing inefficient light bulbs with energy-saving light bulbs saves you money AND time because they last much longer.

Consider installing a programmable thermostat that will monitor the temperature and lower it when necessary. Adjusting the thermostat on your own also works, but a programmable one can be helpful when you are away from home.

Think about installing low-flow showerheads in your bathroom(s). Doing this will improve your home’s water efficiency. Low-flow showerheads have a flow rate of less than 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute), while most conventional showerheads use 5 gallons per minute. Mother Earth will thank you!

Start a Compost Pile

More and more, we’re seeing towns switch to “town trash bags”, where residents have to purchase special bags for their trash. The idea is nice; it persuades communities to throw away less trash and recycle more, but those costs add up!

So, start a compost pile! “Compost is the result of organic waste that’s kept in a pile or container that decomposes over time. Your fruit and vegetable waste not only becomes valuable fertilizer for your lawn or garden,” they say, “but it reduces the amount of trash you produce daily.” And if you’re in a town where you’re essentially “paying” for your trash, this will save on those costs, too!

Turn Off Unnecessary Water

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average homeowner can save about $170 a year with small changes to their water usage. Think about being more conscious of how long you let the water run when you’re brushing your teeth, showering, or washing dishes. You can also choose to turn off the hot water when it’s not in use and/or choose to wash clothes without hot water.

The Big-Ticket Solutions

Sometimes, it costs money to save money. If you are financially able, here are a few of the big-ticket ideas for making your home more energy efficient.

Consider Clean Energy Options: Solar and/or Geothermal

Yes, these are going to cost you more from the start, but overall, solar panels and/or geothermal energy will save you a LOT of money over time… and they are incredibly friendly to the environment. If you’re looking to reduce your global footprint and promote lower fossil fuel usage, here’s a great place to start doing that.

Landscaping: Plant Your Own Shade

According to this guide, planting shade trees and shrubs around your house can save enormous amounts of energy in the winter and the summer!

“In summer, the foliage blocks infrared radiation that would warm the house, while in winter the bare branches let this radiation come through. Of course, if your house has very good insulation and Energy Star or better windows, the effect is much, much smaller because the building shell itself is already blocking almost all the heat gain.”

Replace High-Energy Appliances

This is a middle ground. If you’ve done all the above, but perhaps can’t install solar panels or a geothermal energy system, consider replacing your high-energy appliances.

According to this article, “Energy Star products, such as refrigerators, televisions, stoves, washers and air conditioners, meet energy-efficient specifications set by the EPA. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10-50% less energy than standard appliances and help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. If you plan to replace an appliance soon, consider getting an Energy Star-certified product.”

It’s Time for an Energy Assessment

Last, but certainly not least, consider asking us for an energy audit. While you’re at it, tuning up your HVAC system can’t hurt either. Both services will help to evaluate the inefficiencies and wasted energy in your home, as well as provide ideas, and opportunities, and identify the places that need improvement in your home.

Saving energy costs by getting a home energy audit is the first and best way to start on this journey. Contact us today to see what we can do for you! And be sure to treat yourself to something nice with all your savings!

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