While we’re all enjoying this amazing springtime weather—and are likely running no heating or air conditioning—those hot summer days are around the corner. With some smart shopping and a bit of handyman mastery, you can make some changes around your home that will help you save energy, lower your energy bills, and make a safer planet. Let's dive into a few options:
Sherwin-Williams has developed a paint that boasts an air-purifying quality that can transform any nearby VOCs (volatile organic compounds which are gases caused by certain chemicals, products, and even processes) into harmless, inert gasses. VOCs are common in the home and are found in many different household items such as air fresheners (ironic, huh?), cleaning products, paint, carpeting, vinyl flooring, and upholstery to name a few.
The paint also contains an odor-eliminating property as well which helps your home smell fresh. While the paint is pricey, it may be worthwhile considering it for rooms such as your kitchen, baby nursery, or garage—all rooms where clean air is either a challenge or a priority. But if the safety features are worth it to you, you’ll appreciate knowing that it comes in 540 different colors and in three sheens: flat, satin, and semi-gloss.
WATER-SAVING SHOWER HEAD
The standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. And if you’re on city water, that could add up quickly! The EPA has developed a program called WaterSense which labels water-efficient products if they meet certain criteria. WaterSense-labeled showerheads use no more than 2 gallons of water per minute.
By installing showerheads labeled with WaterSense, the average family could conserve approximately 2,700 gallons of water per year, leading to reduced demands on water heaters and consequent energy savings. In fact, this could amount to over 330-kilowatt hours of electricity annually, equivalent to powering a house for 11 days.
SMART CEILING FANS
A smart ceiling fan is a type of ceiling fan that can be controlled through a smart device, such as a smartphone or a voice assistant, using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. Smart ceiling fans offer features such as remote control, scheduling, and integration with other smart home devices. They can also be controlled through an app, allowing users to adjust fan speed, direction, and lighting from anywhere with an internet connection. Some smart ceiling fans can even learn user preferences and adjust settings automatically to maximize energy efficiency and comfort.
OTHER GREAT IDEAS
- Set your thermostat wisely: Adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature when you're away from home or during the times when you're sleeping. A programmable or smart thermostat can help you automate temperature settings, optimizing energy savings.
- Use natural ventilation: Take advantage of cooler evenings by opening windows and using fans to circulate fresh air instead of relying solely on air conditioning. Use window coverings, such as curtains or blinds, to block out direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.
- Seal air leaks: Inspect your home for air leaks around doors, windows, and other openings, and seal them with weatherstripping or caulk. This prevents hot air from seeping into your home and reduces the load on your cooling system.
- Maintain your HVAC system: Regularly clean or replace your air filters, and have your HVAC system professionally serviced to ensure it's running efficiently. A well-maintained system uses less energy and can lower your utility bills.
- Use energy-efficient appliances: Choose energy-efficient appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines, which are designed to use less energy and water. Look for appliances with the Energy Star label, which indicates they meet strict energy efficiency standards.
- Limit heat-generating activities: Avoid using heat-generating appliances, such as ovens and dryers, during the hottest parts of the day, as they can increase the temperature in your home and cause your cooling system to work harder.
- Unplug electronics: Many electronics continue to draw power even when they're turned off. Unplug devices when they're not in use or use smart power strips that automatically turn off power to devices that are not in use.
- Use energy-efficient lighting: Switch to LED bulbs, which use less energy and generate less heat compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. Turn off lights when they're not needed, and use natural daylight as much as possible.
- Plant trees or install shading devices: Planting trees or installing shading devices, such as outdoor awnings or shade sails, can help block direct sunlight from entering your home, reducing the need for cooling and lowering your utility bills.
By implementing these energy-saving tips, you can, save energy, lower your utility bills and make the earth a better place during the summer months.