Do you want to help save the planet and save money at the same time? You can do this by making your home more energy efficient internally and externally. Nowadays, sustainable homes aren’t only for environmentalists, but for the average American as well.
Improving the way that your home functions is a great long-term solution to a self-sustainable lifestyle. Some of these changes might be easier to make than others, but they are all worth it. Some of the changes will reduce your energy usage, others will conserve the energy within your home, and others will save on other utilities. Make the choices you think will benefit your home the most.

Install Efficient Appliances

One of the biggest offenders of wasted energy and excessive spending is faulty appliances. Outdated dishwashers, refrigerators, dryers, and washers are all a pretty penny, so people are hesitant to replace them. However, it is likely that your neglect is causing you to pay more in the long run. Plus, your appliance likely isn’t working as effectively as you might like anyway.
If you notice water leaks, it is definitely time to make the switch. You might be able to get a good deal online. Buying a new one can be costly, but it means you probably won’t have to replace it anytime soon.

Add Insulation

You likely want to be able to control the temperature of your home—particularly in the unpredictable summer and winter months. Adding insulation to help your home retain its internal temperature is the way to do this.
Make sure that your insulation is working fine. You should also ensure there are no cracks or holes in your windows and doors. In these cases, use weatherstripping to your advantage. You may need to hire an auditor to give you the full details. If you need to get it replaced, you can buy traditional insulation or go for eco-friendly options. You can ask a contractor to install the insulation, or you can go the DIY route.

Install New Windows

While a broken window should obviously be repaired or replaced, you might want to look into getting more efficient ones for your home anyway. Casement windows are an energy-efficient window that helps insulate and maintain your home’s temperature. There are numerous other benefits of efficient windows that you can benefit from as well.
Because of the reduced temperature changes you will be less incentivized to keep your AC on full blast throughout the day. The windows are made of more durable material than glass, which can be another benefit. They also can have a design that is customizable to your tastes.

Low-Flow Toilets

Your bathroom probably uses the most water in your home naturally, and a big culprit in that is your toilet. Conservationists often vouch for low-flow toilets since they use much less water and work just as well. In fact, despite the common myths surrounding low-flow toilets, they are actually growing in popularity.
The EPA suggests that you will save around $110 in your first year of owning one. You might even get some tax benefits because you have one. They are perfect if you are planning on building a new home and installing it from there, but you might run into some problems with older homes’ plumbing.

Get Solar Panels

The most traditional way people consider becoming more self-sufficient is through installing solar panels into your home. There are many reasons you would do this. It decreases a ton on your utilities, saving you money in the long run. It can increase your property value because solar is becoming more popular. Reducing your carbon footprint by implementing solar technology into your home is yet another great bonus.
You have a lot of resources out there if you are interested in going solar. Find a local contractor. They should be able to audit and suggest locations to place your new addition. This is one of the less intrusive ways to make your home more effective—it’s worth it!

Try a Smart Thermostat

If you live in a climate that tends to vary a lot, you might want to invest in a smart thermostat. Using an app on your phone, you can schedule the precise temperature you would like your house to be, and change it on the fly. It is a great hands-off way to save money and know exactly how much energy you are using.
One major piece of advice is to keep the thermostat out of the sunlight . It will affect the way it measures the temperature and can waste a lot of energy in the process. Ensure that your temperatures are labeled in a logical way.

Fix Any Leaks

Keep your eye out for any potential leaks in your home. Leaks are one of the most common wastes of water and are the most aggravating. Not only are you wasting water and increasing your utility bill, but you aren’t even getting use out of it. Finding these leaks can help you fix everything.
If you have ever stepped in a pool of water, chances are there is a leaky pipe somewhere. Contact a plumber and they will be able to perform an audit on your home and fix these leaky pipes.

Replace Incandescent Bulbs

Lastly, you should replace your incandescent bulbs immediately. These are the traditional light bulbs that cast a yellowish light. They are wildly inefficient. They use more electricity than other types of lightbulbs and don’t cast as bright of a light. Most people use them because they are super cheap up front.
But if you are living somewhere long-term, you need to buy more efficient light bulbs. LEDs are the twisty ones, and they work really well. They also cast a much different kind of white light than you will get from the ineffective bulbs.
When all is said and done, the way your home functions will determine the money you spend and the size of your carbon footprint. Making sustainable solutions a part of your life is smart for multiple reasons. Embrace the eco-friendly options and you will be incredibly satisfied by the results—even if it takes more effort.
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Energy Start

H&H Home Builders have constructed Energy Star Compliant homes since we burst onto the building landscape in 1995 as ‘North Liberty’s Premier Builder’. Since then, Energy Star Guidelines have evolved into what we consider today as the pinnacle of efficiency and we, as builders of ‘green’ homes, have kept pace with those guidelines and have adapted them into each home that we build. H&H Home Builders will build you what is known today as a ‘green’ home, but what has always been lesser known as a ‘sustainable’ home. Sustainable homes are quality built so that they last not just decades, but are built to maintain value, encouraging pride of ownership for generations to come. An H&H ‘green’ Home uses raw materials in a responsible way, using fewer resources, resulting in the use of less energy.

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