With a toddler and baby #2 on the way, we’re looking to move out of our cozy 1 bedroom apartment soon. House hunting has brought its own unique set of stresses and questions, but it has also been very educational. There are so many things I’ve learned about making your house more efficient and functional, and I decided to share my newfound knowledge with you today. And, before I forget, a HUGE thanks to Direct Energy for sponsoring today’s post.
1. Upgrade your lighting to energy efficient bulbs
2. Install Smart Power strips
3. Replace old appliances
4. Reduce water heater temperature (from 140 to 120 and save 15% a year on utility bills)
5. Change your furnace filter every three months
6. Unplug electronics when not in use (saves over $100/year!)
7. Properly seal and insulate your home
8. Invest in a Nest Learning Thermostat/Direct Energy Smart Thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat is probably my favorite new energy efficient tool. You can set the Nest to your comfort level and adjust as needed. Eventually, the Nest learns from you, which is super cool, and makes keeping your home comfortable so easy! Direct Energy is giving away a Nest Learning Thermostat ($249 value) – it doesn’t hurt to try and apply!
9. See if your energy company offers rebates for energy efficient upgrades
10. Install dual pane windows
11. Reduce the sun’s impact on your heating and cooling bill by adding a reflective film to windows
12. Use ceiling fans for better air circulation
13. Buy solar powered outdoor lighting
14. Switch to low-flow shower heads, faucets, and toilets
15. Securely insulate any unfinished areas of the house such as the attic, garage, and basement
16. Add smartphone controlled outlets to your home to make sure small appliances and lights are shut off when away from the house
17. Keep curtains closed and invest in blackout or insulating window treatments
18. Grill outside in the summer months instead of fighting your AC with a hot oven
19. Check air ducts for leaks
20. Close off unused rooms such as guest rooms or infrequently used libraries
21. Block unused vents with magnetic vent covers
22. Plant trees or place landscaping outside where the sun hits your home the hardest in order to reduce energy output
23. Install a smart sprinkler system that uses the weather report from your smart phone to adjust the watering needs of your foliage
24. Use automated pet feeders to dispense precisely measured food and water to pets (convenient and efficient!)
In the spirit of creating a more energy efficient, smart home, Direct Energy is hosting a sweepstakes where 5 lucky winners will have the chance to win Nest Learning Thermostats (a $249 value)!
To enter the sweepstakes, visit the campaign landing page and simply fill out the entry form. How easy is that?
The giveaway will take place from Wednesday, October 1st to Wednesday, October 22nd. Winners will be selected in Mid-November.