If you own your home, installing solar panels on your roof is a sound financial decision in almost every state in the nation and Minnesota is no exception! Many homeowners are unfamiliar with solar and are unsure exactly how to “go solar” – so here are a few tips.
Most people don’t get too excited talking about energy efficiency. Those of us who do are typically called “Geeks”.
Most people DO get pretty excited about having more cash in their pockets though and when we talk about energy efficiency that is what we are talking about! (as well as a reduced carbon footprint, a reduced water footprint, and a better relationship with your environment of course!)
Energy efficiency means you are using less energy to do the same jobs - reducing your home's energy waste…which means you will save money! To effectively increase your energy efficiency involves more than just using less energy - it requires you becoming aware of how energy is used, where it's wasted, and how it can be used more effectively and efficiently in everyday life. Here are some top tips to help your home or business save energy and be more efficient:
1: Change your light bulbs to LEDs - and use natural light whenever possible.
2: Wash your clothes in cold water.
3: Sealing cracks, gaps, leaks, and adding insulation can save up to 10% on home heating and cooling costs.
4: Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature according to your schedule
5: Clean or replace all filters in your home regularly.
6: Don't leave your computer on all day long. Only turn on your computer, monitor, printer and fax machine when you need them.
7: Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer and as low as possible in the winter.
8: Turn off the lights when they're not in use - it really makes a difference folks!
9: Wrap your water heater. Installing a water heater blanket can reduce your water heating bill by 9%.
10: Install motion sensors, daylight sensors and timers to help control your lighting.
11: Stop using space heaters. You may feel toasty using them, but they are burning a hole in your electric bill!
12: When you buy any appliance, computer, printer, or other electric device look for an ENERGY STAR option - they can save significant costs over their lifespan.
13: Check your water heater and set it to 120 degrees if it is set higher.
14: Make sure you have good door seals and threasholds for all exterior doors.
15: Get an energy audit. Many local electric utilities offer free or reduced cost energy audits. These home visits can help you identify easy and inexpensive options to improve the energy efficiency of your home based on its actual conditions. Many of these audits will also include on-the-spot improvements like installing LED lightbulbs or low-flow shower heads.