Today we want to talk about what you can do at home to reduce your carbon footprint.
When it comes to building an efficient home, we see solar energy getting a lot of the attention, but there are more constructive actions you can take yourself that, unlike solar panels, don’t require such a large investment upfront.
Read more about what Wisoncins households can do and how much they can save by installing solar electric systems through the Focus on Energy website.
Conducting a Home Energy Audit or Blower Door Test
One big move homeowners can make is conducting an energy audit or blower door test. This is something we can do at First American. We seal and depressurize your house, then use a thermal camera to spot all of the inefficiencies throughout the home.
This tactic helps us detail out a plan to solve those inefficiencies based on where we see the weak spots. An energy audit is probably one of the best things you can do as a step towards improving your home’s performance.
As you’re working at improving your home’s interior to be more efficient, don’t forget to take a look outside. There is a lot you can change within the landscaping of your home that can make a significant impact on your home’s efficiencies.
Ensuring you have deciduous trees on your property or planting them if you don’t already, can help by casting shadows on your home to keep it cool. During the summer months, when they have leaves, the trees’ shadow helps to keep your home cool, saving on air conditioning costs. In the winter, after they’ve shed their leaves, the trees allow that sunlight to come through and shine on the house, warming it up and saving on heating costs.
Air Sealing Your Attic
Did you know that over 90% of homes are underinsulated? Focus on Energy in Wisconson says a home that is improperly air sealed is like having a window open all year round. I would find it hard to believe that any homeowner would be ok with that. Well, that’s what it’s like efficiency-wise if your home’s attic is not properly air sealed.
Air sealing and properly insulating your attic is highly beneficial when seeking to reduce your carbon footprint at home. Your HVAC systems will not be running as efficiently without these improvements, plus your home’s temperature will feel much more comfortable after the insulation is added.
A poorly insulated or air sealed attic is one of the things we can help determine you need during our energy audit.
Some Other Carbon Footprint Reducing Steps You Can Take
Switching over to gas heat from electric can bring you significant savings both financially and in reducing your carbon footprint. You may also want to consider switching out your older furnace to a newer and more efficient one of today’s standards. Even if your furnace is 20 years old, there have been many updates in recent years that make them even more efficient and long-lasting.
One of the most simple changes you can make yourself at home is upgrading your incandescent lightbulbs to LEDs. LEDs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and couldn’t be easier to DIY. They are a little more expensive up front, but they last longer and over time can save you quite a bit on your energy bills, depending on the size of your home and the number of fixtures you switch over.
Last but not least, you can save a ton of energy by hang drying or line drying your clothes. A dryer uses 5x more energy than a washer! That is the equivalent of 225 lightbulbs! Using a clothesline can end up being really fun, nostalgic, and even make your clothes last a lot longer and help keep colors more vibrant.
As you are spending this time at home, getting your spring projects done around the house, keep these tips in mind! You can also refer to our full guide with more ways to reduce your carbon footprint at home. If you want to know more, leave a comment below or contact us above! Thanks for doing your part and focusing on sustainable homes and energy efficiency.