Earth Day is here! We at America’s Preferred Home Warranty are ready to celebrate—and there’s no better way to do that than to help homeowners save money and our planet. Even better, you can use these tips to untap the power of your home budget and help Mother Earth at the same time, giving you a reason to celebrate all year long!
1. Switch to LED lighting
If every US homeowner switched to LED lights in the next 20 years, Americans would save $250 billion in energy costs, cut electricity consumption by almost 50 percent, and prevent 1,800 million metric tons of carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere, according to Energy.gov. That’s powerful stuff!
But let’s get personal–in a good way. By switching to LED lighting, you as a homeowner can reduce your energy costs by as much as 80 percent, consume 75 percent less energy, and help your home lighting last 25 times longer – which also means spending less time changing light bulbs. Sounds like a great deal, right?
While LED lighting may not always feel cost-effective at the store checkout, the savings start as soon as you replace your incandescent lights. Plus, it helps save the planet by reducing your environmental impact. It also prevents mercury (which is used in traditional lighting, but not in LEDs) from entering our landfills.
For more energy-related tips, read our latest article on cutting energy costs to help your home budget.
2. Inspect and maintain your furnace
An inefficient furnace can hurt your home budget—and the planet—in a big way! But there are some things you can do as a homeowner to keep your budget intact while significantly reducing your impact on the Earth. These include changing your furnace filters, cleaning your unit regularly, and ensuring it’s always in good working condition.
Old furnaces range in efficiency from 56 to 70 percent, according to Energy.gov, whereas today’s heating systems can reach as high as 98.5 percent efficiency, making it far more effective and inexpensive to use than older models. By simply upgrading your furnace to something newer, you’ll not only prevent 1.5 tons of carbon monoxide emissions from occurring in a gas furnace (or 2.5 tons for an oil furnace); you can also cut your home heating costs by as much as $85 a year, which adds up over the life of your furnace.
Discover how to keep your furnace in great shape by reading “Need-to-Know Furnace Maintenance for New Homeowners.”
3. Seal leaks, cracks, and gaps
Window leaks, poor insulation, and gaps in your home’s doors, walls, and vents can be a budget burner for any homeowner. Why? Because as you heat and cool your home, these leaks, cracks, and gaps let climate-controlled air escape from your home, while letting in the air you’re trying to keep out.
Once a year, homeowners should inspect every room for trouble spots that could be driving up A/C and heating bills. By inspecting your windows, doors, baseboards, and walls, you might discover leaks and gaps that can be solved with a simple caulking. Installing weatherstripping on your doors and windows can also make a big impact. Just don’t forget to check your garage, too.
Inspecting and replacing missing insulation—especially in the attic and around ducts and vents—will also help control your home’s temperature. Between sealing and insulation, you can save an average of 15 percent on heating and cooling costs, and 11 percent in energy costs overall, according to the EPA.
Want to learn more ways to save on energy costs? Read our article on smart home devices.
4. Maintain your home plumbing
Plumbing leaks are notorious for costing homeowners big bucks in water bills and repairs. But many plumbing leaks go unnoticed for too long, causing needless water waste. In fact, a family of four can use up to 16,000 excess gallons of water per year just by having leaky toilets.
If you want to save money while using less water, here are five ways from the EPA to save your budget and the planet:
- Stop household leaks
- Replace old toilets
- Replace old clothes washers
- Install WaterSense faucet aerators and showerheads
- Manage and monitor your irrigation system
Fixing plumbing leaks can save you around 10 percent on your water bill and keep you from wasting over 90 gallons a day! If you’re having trouble finding leaks around your home but suspect they might be happening, read our article celebrating National Fix a Leak Week.
Protecting your budget and the planet is important. America’s Preferred Home Warranty can help protect your home and budget by covering the systems and appliances you use most from everyday wear and tear. That means if something covered breaks, we’ve got your back.