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In 2021 and beyond, people all around are trying to build eco-friendly habits that can benefit the earth and their homes. Whether you’re already in the process of making your home and your life more energy efficient or you’re simply curious about what changes you can make to move in that direction, there are so many tips and tricks you can use to make your home the comfortable, energy efficient place of your dreams. While each home and family is different and everyone has their own way of doing things, that’s the beauty of the array of options before you. You can try out different ideas to see what’s feasible and comfortable for you, and go from there.
While some people want to aim for net-zero, others want to take baby steps in reducing their carbon footprint. No matter what kind of impact you’re trying to make in your home, even making small changes can make a big difference over time. From the big changes like solar panels to the small switches like energy efficient lightbulbs, there are so many ways you can make an impact this year. Here are some of the best ways you can be energy efficient in 2021.
1. Install Solar Panels
Starting with one of the big changes, solar panels can help you get towards a goal of net-zero if that’s what you’re aiming for. While solar panels do require an investment upfront, they can also pay themselves off in the long run, especially if you’re staying put in your current home.
2. Lower Your Thermostat
If you’re looking for a smaller switch, lowering your thermostat in the colder months even a degree or two — or just lowering it a bit at night — can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. If you want to make it even easier, a smart temperature control system is a great option.
3. Insulate Your Home
Speaking of temperature controls, one of the best ways not to waste heat or cooling air is to keep it inside your home where it belongs. While insulating your home may take a bit of extra effort, the results can keep you from expending too much energy on temperature control.
4. Replace Your Lightbulbs
One of the easiest switches to make is replacing your ordinary lightbulbs with energy efficient lightbulbs. Usually, LED and smart lighting is the best when it comes to energy saving. The beauty of this swap is that once you make it, you hardly have to think about it until the time comes to replace them again.
5. Use Low-Flow Showerheads
Another swap that you can make in just one go. Not only do low-flow showerheads and faucets save water and energy, but they also cut down on your monthly water bills. Your shower and water pressure will still feel the same, but you’ll just be saving energy and water. It’s basically a win-win.
While you might not always think of waste as the first thing that eats up energy, it’s a big part of anyone’s carbon footprint. And when waste like organic matter and food waste can be reused for a better purpose, why not give it a try? Composting can be highly beneficial for the earth in so many ways, especially if you like to garden.
7. Hang Dry Laundry
Dryers are convenient, but they can also eat up a lot of energy in your house. Why not try out laundry the old-fashioned way? Hang drying your clothes, sheets and linens on a clothesline outside not only saves energy, but it can also make your fabrics smell fresh and clean. Especially in the spring, this swap can be worth a try when you have time.
8. Wash Laundry on Cold
Speaking of laundry, washing clothes on hot actually requires more energy than washing on cold. That being said, try out your standard wash cycles on cold if you’re looking for an easy, environmentally friendly swap. Chances are, you won’t be able to tell the difference until you get your bill.
9. Unplug Unused Appliances
Did you know that appliances, chargers and anything that uses an outlet can actually still eat up energy when you’re not using it as long as it’s still plugged in? Now that you know, you can unplug small appliances and chargers when you aren’t using them. It’s an easy habit, and it can make a difference over time.
10. Do an Energy Audit
If you’re looking for a heavy hitter, you can always do an energy audit to see where the most energy in your household is being used, in order to reduce straight from the source. While you can call in a professional for this job, you can also do it yourself to save money and time.
Being More Energy Efficient in 2021
It’s always important to consider the ways that we can be better to our planet, and that progress starts at home. Whether 2021 is the year you’re ready to install solar panels, replace your lightbulbs or simply unplug unused appliances, any step forward is a step in the right direction.