Home Heating, Programmable thermostat
If your heating system has a programmable thermostat you should use it. It will use less energy to keep the house at a steady temperature than it will to constantly reheat it. Ideally you should set your thermostat at sixty eight degrees when you are home and fifty six when you are out or overnight. Image from U.S. Green Technology

5 Smart Changes You Can Make For an Energy Efficient Home

Ever heard the phrase “nickel and diming yourself”? It doesn’t just apply to your money-spending habits.
Your energy-spending habits can nickel and dime you out of a cheaper energy bill and a smarter home. But by making a few simple changes and investing in a few bigger changes, you can have a smarter home and enjoy a greener lifestyle.

Here are 5 smart ways you can be making a difference:

1. Use Light Timers

We all forget to turn off the lights. Or we fall asleep on the couch with all of the lamps on in the house. Sticking your lamps on a light timer lets you keep a cozy home without having a crazy energy bill.

There are two types of timers: manual (the kind you plug in to an outlet) and in-wall programmable timers. Both can save you money over time, and both will help you from leaving the lights on when nobody’s home.

Manual timers are cheaper and are great for simply switching on a few lamps so you aren’t coming home to a dark house.

Programmable timers are great for controlling the entire house. Can’t remember if you switched off the bathroom light before leaving the house that morning? If you used a programmable timer, that light will be off, whether you remembered or not.

2. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy efficient light bulbs use 75% less energy while lasting at least 10 times longer than your old light bulbs.

While they might be a little more expensive up front, you’ll be saving money on your electricity bill and over time because of their higher efficiency. Plus, a longer life span on the light bulb means you’re producing less waste.

3. Invest in a Nest

Nest Thermostats make your home smarter by learning your habits and adjusting your thermostat for a more efficient energy usage schedule. Fully programmable, you can customize Nest via the mobile app or right from the thermostat itself.

Like everyone else, you probably hate programming your thermostat and simply leave it at one temperature throughout the day. Installing a Nest saves you the hassle of trying to program your home by learning your habits, such as when you are and aren’t home.

A correctly-programmed thermostat can save you around 20% on your energy bill while also making your home a little cozier (or cooler, depending on the season).

4. Use ENERGY STAR Rated Appliances and Electronics

The ENERGY STAR label is more than just a sticker you find on some electronics. It’s a mark of smarter energy usage.

ENERGY STAR products use less energy, function more efficiently, and save you money on your energy bill over time.

The label was started in the interest of reducing greenhouse gasses and other pollutants while also creating an energy efficiency standard for the products consumers use the most. From washing machines to computer monitors, ENERGY STAR rated products are widely available. You probably already have one or two in your home.

5. Go Tankless

A tankless water heater has tons of benefits, but top among them are the extended lifespan and reduced energy usage.

Heating only the water you need, a tankless water heater uses about half the energy that a 50 gallon water heater uses. Since a tankless water heater only heats the water you need, when you need it, you’re not wasting energy heating up water you won’t end up using. You’ll also save money on maintenance and repair costs.

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