Recent statistics showed that 58% of homeowners planned to spend money on home improvements this year. And with more people staying home during the ongoing pandemic, it’s pretty likely to say that you might end up working on some property renovation projects in the near future.

Although even small DIY projects come with some sort of costs, the money you spend on these renovations can end up paying off in the end. That’s especially true if you focus on energy efficiency. Not only can energy efficient improvements allow you to extend the lifespan of certain residential systems (thus alleviating the need for repairs or replacement), but they’ll also make your home more comfortable, offset your carbon footprint, and save you money each month. Here are just a few ways you can reduce your energy bills — despite shelter-in-place orders and seasonal heatwaves.

Install a Smart Thermostat

You might be skeptical about “smart” appliances, but a smart thermostat can be a great way to gain more control over your comfort level while you save money. Simply program your thermostat to automatically adjust at certain times of the day or control it remotely via your smartphone app. That way, you can raise the temperature a bit when you do go out or when you go to sleep at night to save both money and energy usage.

Seal Leaks to Insulate Your Home

Some people assume that insulation only matters in the wintertime. But escaped air, regardless of the season, will make your home more difficult to keep comfortable and will translate to excessive energy usage. A well-insulated home costs 30% less to cool than one with inferior insulation. So if you know your windows are drafty or your crawl space needs extra insulation, now’s a good time to seal up the leaks.

Try Out Solar Energy

Solar energy has become more prevalent and more affordable in recent years. In fact, it now accounts for 1.6% of all electricity generation nationwide. While installing solar panels doesn’t necessarily come cheap, the installation can pay off in a relatively short amount of time. Even if you don’t want to power your entire home on solar, you can save by utilizing solar energy in your outdoor lighting, your pool, or on other parts of your property. The less energy you have to draw directly from the grid, the more you’ll save each month. Even better, you won’t have to sacrifice your use of your outdoor space this summer!

Use Curtains, LED Bulbs, and Fans

Many of us rely on our residential air conditioning units to keep cool during the summer months. But you can support your HVAC system by supplementing with other features, like ceiling fans and certain kinds of window treatments. Although you may love the look of the sunlight streaming in, keeping blinds and windows shut can keep your home cooler during the day. And using a ceiling (or even a portable fan) in certain areas of the home can cost a lot less than running your AC at full blast. If you haven’t yet swapped out your incandescent bulbs for LEDs, now’s the time to make that change, too. You’ll pay less for electricity and the bulbs will last longer, which means a bit of relief for your wallet.

Unplug Your Electronics

Upgrading major appliances to Energy Star or high-efficiency models can help you curb energy waste, particularly if these components are really outdated. But you don’t necessarily have to invest in expensive appliances or devices to save both energy and money. The simple act of turning off and unplugging electronics when they aren’t in use can stop unconscious energy drain. Don’t let energy vampires derail your efforts to cut costs!

With these simple energy-saving tips in mind, you’ll be able to stay comfortable at home and save both money and energy. Now, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the cool air!

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