Addressing climate change is an ongoing challenge for people worldwide. There are a variety of steps you can take as a homeowner to prevent further damage to the environment and improve planet Earth’s long-term health. Because our homes can use more energy than any other part of our lives, making a few minor changes in your home can have a major impact on the environment. Here are a few ways for homeowners to help combat climate change:
Use Better Lighting Solutions
Swapping your traditional light bulbs for energy-efficient LED bulbs is an easy way to have a major impact on climate change. That’s because up to 75% less energy is used by an LED bulb than by a regular light bulb.
Installing a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat will help you to regulate the temperature of your home more effectively than a traditional analog model. Not only do smart thermostats keep the temperature of your home more consistent, but they also enable you to customize your home temperature based on the time of day. When you’re at work, you can cut back on heating and cooling and bring the temperature back to normal when you get home. Every year, this small upgrade can save a ton of energy.
Solar panels used to be a costly home upgrade, but recent technological advances have caused installation costs to collapse. And, thanks to the energy savings you’ll see from the solar panels, your initial investment can be recovered in a short time. Solar panels will enable your home to harness the sun’s energy to power your electrical appliances, helping to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of your home.
Energy Star Certified Appliances
If your home has outdated appliances, it can be very helpful to upgrade them. Energy Star label appliances are more efficient, meaning they use less energy than their unrated counterparts. This will help you to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time saving you money on utility bills.
Cold Water Laundry
Were you aware that nearly 75% of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced by a laundry load come from water heating? Simply switching to cold water for each laundry load can have a major impact on the carbon emissions from your home. And studies have found that it is as effective to wash your clothes in cold water as washing them in warm water.
A dirty HVAC filter will make cooling or warming your home more difficult for your air conditioner or furnace to work. Not only does this make it less efficient, but over time it can also damage the unit. Make sure your filter is clean to ensure that your HVAC unit works as efficiently as possible. Check the filter once a month and replace it or clean it for maximum efficiency at least every three months.
Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
By opening your blinds and curtains and turning off your electric lights, make the most of natural light during the day. Work to design each room around natural light sources to enhance the use of natural light throughout your home. And make sure that your windows are as clean as possible to let in as much light.
Unplug Electronics When Not In Use
Unused plug-in electronics are constantly draining power. In fact, almost 25% of residential energy consumption comes from idle devices. If you do not use electronics, such as your computer, TV, cable box, coffee maker, or speakers, unplug them so that they do not drain unnecessary power. To make these appliances easy to plug and unplug, use power strips that can be easily switched on and off.
Get an Energy Efficient Water Heater
A lot of energy can be used by your water heater, but there are ways to reduce your energy consumption. Start by lowering your hot water heater temperature to ensure that it does not heat the water as often as possible. Then take steps to insulate your hot water heater tank and the water heater pipes.
Conserve Water & Watch Your Consumption
It takes a lot of energy to pump, treat and heat the water in your home. Do your best to reduce your use of water to combat climate change. Be sure to repair leaks right away as well as preserving water throughout your home.
A properly insulated home will make your entire home more energy-efficient, which can reduce your need to heat your home in the winter and cool it down in the summer. Insulation, weather stripping, and caulking can help keep warm and cool air inside your home, making it more efficient and reducing your energy consumption.
Actively Recycle Wherever Possible
Use a recycling bin in your home to help reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from waste disposal. Separate your paper, plastic, and glass from the rest of your waste and recycle it at your local recycling facility.