12 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

It’s no secret that our environment is in trouble. The climate is changing, the Amazon is being destroyed, there’s a patch of floating plastic twice the size of Texas floating somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, and that’s just the tip of the (melting) iceberg.

At SOL, we’re passionate about finding both small- and large-scale ways to protect and preserve our planet. It’s why we don’t use any plastic in our packaging, why we’ve partnered with amazing initiatives like Water 4 and The Fund for Animals, and why we created a company focused on organic sustainable farming practices.

There are so many ways that we can all get involved in the preservation of our environment, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably already engaged with at least a few of them, like finding ways to cut down your plastic use.

In this post, we’re focusing on changes that you can make in your home to save energy. And this isn’t just a win for the environment- it also has the added bonus of cutting down your power bill!

Our list ranges from small tweaks that you can make today for free to large long-term investments that will impact your entire home. Choose the steps that fit you and your budget to create an energy saving plan that works for you!

Fix a dripping tap

Not only is the sound of a dripping tap beyond annoying, but it’s also shocking how much wasted water those drips add up to. Tightening up leaky faucets will save a ton of wasted water, money on your bill, and the headache from those constant drips!

Use LED bulbs

Another super easy switch is to ditch conventional light bulbs for LED.

When LED bulbs first hit the market, they gave some pretty harsh lighting, but the technology has improved and today you don’t have to sacrifice nice lighting to be energy efficient. Yes, the bulbs may cost a bit more, but they last much longer and are worth it in the long run.

Block drafty windows

If you’re windows and doors aren’t sealed properly, you’re literally sending energy right out the window. Heating and cooling your home are among the biggest draws on your energy system, and any air slipping in will have your heat and AC working overtime.

Investing in caulking, sealants, and heavy drapes are all easy ways to keep the outside air out and allow you to save on unnecessary energy consumption. Keeping your blinds closed during the day also helps to block out heat and keep your home cooler.

Install a ceiling fan

As we just mentioned, heating and cooling chew up a ton of energy, and a great supplement to your heating and cooling systems is a ceiling fan. Fans use much less energy than your other systems, and they can actually be used year-round. In the summer, having your fan spin counter clockwise will help to cool the air and in the winter, spinning it clockwise will help to redistributed trapped warm air.

Install a smart thermostat

One more heating tip! Rather than heating your entire home, a smart thermostat will allow you to heat only the rooms you’re actually using. This can save you a ton of energy, which would otherwise be wasted by heating rooms you aren’t in. During the night, for example, you may want to focus the heat in your bedrooms and turn it down in the other rooms of the home, and then reverse this during the day.

Switch to reusable products

Take an inventory of the single-use items you use around your home and see if there are reusable options you’re open to switching to. Paper towels are a big one- reusable cloths get the job done just as well without the waste! Other great swaps include dryer balls instead of dryer sheets and menstrual cups in place of feminine hygiene products.

Use natural cleaning products

Most of the cleaning products on the market are a cocktail of toxic and environmentally harmful ingredients, which ultimately end up in our water systems and environment. We have a whole post on switching to natural cleaning products here.

Wash your clothes in cold water

Not only does cold water save energy, but it also helps to keep your clothes looking their best! Hot water can shrink certain materials and set stains, so washing in cold will mean less burden on both the environment and your clothes.

And hang them to dry

Same deal. Hanging your clothes to dry will save mega energy, and it will extend the life of your clothing. Plus, there’s nothing quite like that fresh off the line laundry smell!

Buy second hand

Yes, we all want the shiniest, fanciest, latest model of everything, but no we definitely don’t need them. Getting in the habit of hitting up your local second hand stores or checking out online sources like Facebook Marketplace is a great way to get the items you need second hand, and for much less than you’d pay in store. Plus, you’ll end up with some cool unique pieces that you wouldn’t have found if you’d gone straight to the mall!

And just buy less

Trust us, we get it! The constant barrage of things you “should” own is overwhelming and everything from our TVs to our Instagram feed to our friends’ recommendations is telling us we need more stuff. But in truth, we need far far less than we think we do, and we’d all be happier (and richer!) if we curbed our consumption. We’ve read countless articles from minimal, zero waste, and Kondo method bloggers talking about how much freer they felt when the cut back on the amount of things they bought, and we’ve experienced it ourselves! There’s just something freeing about saying no to excess, AND the environment will thank you for it.

There’s a popular hashtag on Instagram right now that we love, #BuyLessBuyBetter. It’s so tempting to go for a quick shopping fix and load up on fast fashion and cheap home goods, but when we choose to buy less and focus on higher quality items when we do buy, we will end up with products that we truly love, will last longer, and overall will decrease the load we place on the planet.

Switch to solar energy

This is, of course, a big investment for your home and won’t be the right fit for everyone but switching to a solar energy system is a huge win for the environment. Fossil fuels are a finite resource, and their production takes a massive toll on the planet. Solar (and other renewable energy sources) will never run out and cost the planet nothing to create.

While upfront costs may be significant, most energy systems pay themselves off and save you money over the course of their lifetime. Additionally, there are many initiatives available that can help with financing and rebates.

These are just a few ways that you can start saving energy in your home!

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