Earth Day is April 22, so it’s the perfect time of year to take an inventory of your home’s energy usage and identify waste. Making a conscious effort to conserve energy in your everyday life helps the environment while also putting money back in your pocket.
Small, incremental changes are the easiest to make. Read on for a few simple steps you can take today that will make a difference. Combined with Guardian Protection’s monitored home security services and smart home technology products, you can create a home environment that’s cleaner, safer, and more convenient.
Do an energy audit
If you were asked today where the majority of your home’s energy goes, could you answer with confidence? If not, consider conducting a home energy audit to help you identify where your house is losing energy.
If you’re looking for an in-depth analysis, you can hire a professional to come in and do a thorough assessment. Check out this energy audit infographic on Energy.gov for a comprehensive checklist of what they will be looking for and what you should expect. Similar to hiring a contractor, do your research ahead of time, get multiple quotes, and don’t be afraid to request references.
Not looking for a deep dive? Many utility companies offer online tools allowing customers to run an audit for free. This option can help you quickly identify problem areas and opportunities to save. If your provider doesn’t offer this, there are great resources available from the U.S. Department of Energy to help you do your own assessment.
Make your home smarter and more energy efficient with home automation
At Guardian Protection, we love that our smart home automation offerings help keep our customers safer and more connected. But did you know that investing in smart home automation can also save energy and even lower your monthly bill?
Installing smart home automation requires an initial investment up front, but one that pays off. Back to the question of what’s eating your energy, Connect4Climate cites heating, cooling, and lighting as making up around 60% of all the energy your home uses. Adding smart devices like thermostats and lighting controls can both lower your energy consumption and help you manage your household.
Think about how much electricity you would save if you never forgot to turn off the lights, or if your thermostat could learn your schedule and adapt to it. What if any time a window was left open in the summer — sending that expensive air conditioning out into the world — you received a reminder to close it? This is just a sampling of endless ways you can customize a smart system to your specific energy needs.
A bonus: Some utility providers offer financial incentives to encourage the use of energy-saving devices, so give yours a call to see if you qualify.
Make energy efficiency part of the family routine
Conserving energy should be a team sport. If one or more people in your household aren’t on board, it may negate your efforts. So, share your energy goals with your kids or roommates to get everyone on the same page.
Treat cutting back on energy usage like any other household task and make it part of your daily routine. Divide and conquer by assigning different rooms, or even floors, to different family members and encourage them to tackle it as they get ready for their day.
The importance of green living is a complicated idea to communicate to a child. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has a great site called Energy Kids with games, puzzles, and other resources for teaching youngsters about energy. YouTube is also chock full of short educational videos about energy — we like this one, but there are plenty of options for kids of all ages.
Hunt down your “vampire” appliances
This step is way less scary than it sounds! An energy vampire is a device that continues to use energy and drain power even after it’s turned off or in idle/sleep/standby mode — essentially one that remains in use as long as it’s plugged in. Think phone chargers, coffee makers, microwaves, game consoles, and tons of other appliances that stay plugged in 24/7. If the item displays the time while not in use, it might be an energy vampire.
Looking at each item on its own, the cost seems negligible. But all in, you could lose hundreds of dollars a year. Luckily, slaying these vampires is relatively easy. Just unplugging them when not is use is an obvious option, but you can also try using advanced power strips with built-in features designed to reduce energy use.
Need help getting started?
Guardian Protection’s smart home security solutions help families make positive changes in their energy usage while giving them convenience, control, and peace of mind. Call 1.800.PROTECT (1.800.776.8328) to discuss how we can help make your home safer and smarter.