The trend of green homes is increasingly growing in popularity. It’s easy to understand why. Homes that are more energy efficient are not only more comfortable to live in but are also better for the environment and save you money. It doesn’t take much to make your home a green home. We’ve put together five easy things you can do to increase your energy efficiency and make your home greener.

1. Install A Programmable Thermostat

If your home doesn’t have a programmable thermostat, you should get one right away. It enables you to preset temperatures for different times of day in order to save on energy usage. Let’s say you’re at work at specific times during the weekdays. You can set up your thermostat not to cool or heat your home during those hours, saving you money. You can set it up to start working half an hour before you are home so that when you arrive, your house is comfortable.

2. Switch to Energy Efficient Bulbs

This is probably the easiest method since all you need to do is change your traditional light bulbs wither fluorescent or LED light bulbs. Now it doesn’t mean you have to change every single bulb to see a difference in your utility bill. You can first concentrate on the five lights that are the most used in your house. This option is much cheaper than replacing your windows for more energy efficient ones, so it’s something everyone can do today.

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3. Seal Air Leaks

The cooling and heating system in your home uses a lot of energy, so it’s important to do everything you can to prevent this air from escaping. When the air leaks out, this makes your HVAC system work more and consume more energy. One of the best and easiest ways to prevent these leaks is by applying caulk around the windows.

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4. Insulate the Water Heater

When you buy a new water heater, it will already be insulated. However, if you still have an old water heater, adding insulation to it can increase your home’s energy efficiency. Once you turn the water heater off, wrap it in a blanket. Use tape to secure the blanket in place. Cut out the areas around the heater’s controls so you can still access them. You can purchase an insulation kit for about $20.

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5. Install Ceiling Fans

A great way not to rely solely on your air conditioner is to install some ceiling fans in your house. They use a lot less energy and are a great way to reduce the temperature in your home without touching the A/C system. No need to install in every single room, simply place in the rooms where you spend the most amount of time.

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Did you know that you can actually use ceiling fans year round to reduce your energy bills? By reversing the direction of your fan during the winter, you will be pulling up cool air and pushing the warm air to the floor.