Getting Your Money's Worth: What Can You Do to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient?

    Energy Efficient Dishwasher

    Energy-efficient items for your home are designed to help you save on utilities – and, as a result, save you money as well. How can you tell which energy-efficient appliances will provide the best return on your investment? These three tips will help.

    1. Invest in New Windows

    Replace your old, drafty windows with new, energy-efficient models. Investing in new windows can help you reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs. While window replacement is an expensive remodel, you’ll start seeing savings immediately and will likely feel more comfortable in your draft-free home, too. Expect to break even in a few years, depending on just how bad your original windows were.

    2. Install a Smart Thermostat

    Choose a thermostat that you can program to maintain your home at a comfortable temperature at all times. Doing so will help you cut your monthly energy bill. Resisting the urge to turn your system up when you are cold and down when you are hot can help cut your energy costs, too; the constant yo-yoing of your home’s temperature is costly and won’t result in a more comfortable home. Using a smart, programmable thermostat to keep your home consistently comfortable can have an immediate impact on your energy bills. A smart thermostat can pay for itself in two to five years, depending on how warm or cool you like your home to be and how frequently you adjust the unit. Interested in upgrading your thermostat? You could get a Nest Thermostat E™ at no cost when signing up for a home warranty or a fixed electric plan. Learn more about how to get your Nest Thermostat E™ at no cost to you. 

    3. Upgrade to New Appliances

    Buying energy efficient items for your home, such as refrigerators, can have a positive effect on your wallet. According to Energy Star, getting rid of your old refrigerator and replacing it with a new, efficient model can save you about $150 per year. If your current refrigerator is more than a decade old, you’ll see even greater savings. Switching to a high-efficiency washer and dryer can help you cut your annual utility costs. Additionally, you can launder your clothing with cold water for even greater savings. The cost of heating your water to wash your laundry far outstrips the cost of running the machine itself, so making the switch to cold temperatures can help you save. The amount of time it takes to see an improvement in your energy use and utility costs will vary and depends on a variety of factors, from how much you are spending on your current setup to the particular appliance or improvement you choose for your home.