With rising energy costs, many of us are looking for ways to make our homes more efficient. Fortunately, there are simple steps to save money on utility bills while doing our part to protect the environment. From installing smart thermostats to using natural lighting, these tips and tricks can go a long way to save energy at home.

1. Install Smart Thermostats to Save Energy at Home

Smart thermostats save energy because you can control your home’s temperature from anywhere – even when you’re away for vacation or business. A WiFi-enabled thermostat enables you to set preset temperatures and turn down the heat or air conditioning while no one is home, which helps to reduce energy consumption and save money.

2. Maximize Natural Light in Your Home

Using natural light is one of the simplest and most effective ways to save energy. During the day, open the shades or curtains to let sunlight into your living space. Add mirrors to your walls to reflect light and create a brighter environment. Opening the window covering reduces energy costs because you won’t need artificial lighting for much of the day.

3. Upgrade to LEDs

LEDs are much more efficient than traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs, as they use a fraction of the electricity and last significantly longer. Investing in LED light bulbs lowers electric bills and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Use Less Hot Water

Heating water is one of the home’s largest sources of energy consumption. To save energy, try turning down the temperature on your water heater and take shorter showers. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible and use lighter wash settings on your dishwasher to minimize hot water use.

5. Control “Phantom Energy” with Smart Outlets

“Phantom energy” is the energy appliances use, even when turned off. Invest in smart outlets to control remotely with your phone or other device. Smart outlets allow you to turn off devices that aren’t normally powered down, like coffee makers and microwaves. Set schedules to automatically shut off appliances when you know they won’t be needed.

6. Plant Shade Trees to Save Energy at Home

Planting trees and plants around your home helps reduce energy consumption in the summer. Trees provide natural shade, blocking the sun and keeping your home’s temperature lower so you won’t need to use the air conditioning as often. Plus, trees are attractive and can add value to your property.

Making a few simple changes to your home can save you money and help reduce your carbon footprint. With these tips in mind, you can create a more energy-efficient home.

R. Sorensen Construction and Inspections provides home inspection services to customers in Eastern Oregon. Contact us to schedule an appointment.