When it comes to home trends, most come and go. (And when you think of once-hot trends like shag carpeted bathrooms, this isn't necessarily a bad thing!) But there's one trend that's here to stay—making our homes more energy efficient.
Energy efficient homes are more in-demand than ever, and today's smart homes make it easy to start conserving energy without sacrificing comfort.
Why home energy efficiency matters
So what exactly is energy efficiency, and why does it matter? A simple energy efficiency definition is using less energy or fewer resources to complete the same task.
Whether you're looking for ways to save on your monthly energy bills, you want to help the environment, or you just want a modern home, there are plenty of reasons people want to make their homes more energy efficient.
Here are some of the most compelling reasons energy efficiency matters at home.
It’s good for the environment
The environment is a hot topic these days, and many people are looking for ways to do their part. Conservation of energy is something that’s pretty simple for most people to do, and it has a big impact in a number of ways, including:
Improves air quality by decreasing power plant emissions
Conserves limited natural resources, such as freshwater and oil
Can help reduce water pollution
You may not think that small changes make a big impact on the environment, but there are small ways to save energy that make a huge difference. Think of it this way—if every American just swapped one incandescent bulb in their house for a LED one, the reduction in pollution would be the same as taking 676,000 cars off the road.
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It’s good for your wallet
One of the main reasons people want to make their homes more energy efficient is to save money. If you’re looking for ways to save on your monthly utility bills, making your home more energy efficient is a great place to start. In fact, according to energy.gov, you can save up to 30% on your home’s energy bills by improving your home’s energy efficiency.
It makes your home more comfortable
Energy-efficient homes are also one of the best ways to make your home more comfortable for everyone living there. Simple fixes to reduce drafts and keep your home at an even temperature—often without you even having to think about it—can keep your home cozy or cool year-round.
Not only that but making your home drier and warmer through energy-efficient appliances and home modifications can also improve your home's air quality, cutting down on the risk of airborne illness and mold growth.
It increases your home’s resale value
There’s another great benefit to going green—it can help increase the demand in your home when it comes time to sell. More than 89% of buyers are looking for homes that have energy-efficient appliances and features to help them save money as well as improve the environment.
How to make your home more energy efficient
If you're serious about going green, there are a number of things you can do around your home to improve energy efficiency, whether your budget is big or small.
If you're looking to make some big-ticket purchases, consider some of these energy-saving tips:
Upgrade your windows. Air leaks through windows are responsible for about 21% of a home's indoor cooling losses. If you need to replace your windows, consider upgrading them to Energy-Star rated replacements.
Install solar panels. Solar panels are increasing in popularity, especially in western and southern states, thanks to sunnier days overall than many other parts of the country. They're also an important tool for energy conservation. According to the US Energy Information Agency, solar power uses just 2% of total energy in the US, leading to a significant reduction in energy overall.
Insulate your attic. If you have an attic, it could be leaking both hot and cool air inside your home. Insulating your attic will help protect against air leaks and lower your heating and cooling costs.
There are lots of small, low-cost changes you can make as well that add up to big energy and money savings. A few easy ways to save energy include:
Hang window drapes. If replacing your windows isn't necessary or in the budget, there's an easier, less expensive way—hanging drapes. In the summer, draperies can cut heat gains by 33% while cutting heat loss in the winter by 10%.
Cut down on water usage. Save the amount of water you use around the house by installing low-flow showerheads, which literally cut the amount of water used in half. Taking shorter showers is also an effective way to use less water.
Wash clothes in cold water. Heating water accounts for about 17% of the energy use in a home. Washing clothes in cold water can effectively cut down on heating. Not only that, but it also helps your clothes last longer.
Switch to a laptop computer. If you're using a desktop at home, you might want to consider switching to a laptop when the time comes. (Or, if you're working from home, ask your employer to provide you with a laptop instead.) Desktop computers use 80% more electricity than laptops. If you work from home or spend a lot of time on your computer, this can really add up.
Replace your light bulbs. If you have incandescent bulbs in your home, swapping them for LED lights provides lots of energy-saving benefits. LED lights use 75% less energy and last a whopping 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Replacing just 15 incandescent bulbs in your home can save you around $50 a year.
Keep in mind that by going green, you may even be eligible for incentives for making energy-efficient upgrades to your home. Each state has a list of federal and state tax credits, rebates, and savings that are worth checking out if you plan on making some energy-efficient upgrades or purchasing energy-efficient appliances.
How a smart home improves energy efficiency
Smart homes and energy efficiency go hand in hand.
There are lots of things that go into making a smart home smart, from automation to smart devices to controlling devices remotely. Not only does this make life easier in general, but it also helps you save energy and money; smart homes use an estimated 30-40% less energy on average.
Take a look at some of the ways a smart home can improve energy consumption.
Like the name implies, home automation automates many of the devices and tasks you do around the home, often doing so in a way that saves energy.
Take smart thermostats, for example. One of the most popular and common smart home devices, they work to make sure your home is set to the comfort level you prefer, and they do it in a way the saves the most energy.
If you like your home nice and warm in cooler months, for example, your thermostat will learn your preferences and make sure it stays that way. But heating a home uses a lot of energy, which can be costly and wasteful if you’re not at home. The smart thermostat will automatically conserve energy while you’re away, and then adjust it to your preferred temperature when you’re home. Best of all, it can do this automatically.
Smart devices and appliances also help conserve energy around the home with features that make life convenient and environmentally friendly. In addition to the smart thermostats mentioned previously, some of these smart devices include:
Smart refrigerators you can look inside without opening the door and wasting energy while you decide what you want
Smart lighting that automatically turns off when no one is home
Appliances that shut off automatically after a certain period of time
You can also tell if smart devices and appliances are energy efficient by looking for the Energy Star Certified symbol. These devices meet federally-mandated guidelines regarding energy consumption and efficiency.
Remote control of your home
Many smart home devices can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app, which makes it easier to save energy. If you're like most of us, you've probably left for work or a day of running errands in the morning and forgotten to turn your lights off or left the TV on. With smart home devices, you can check on your home at any time and turn off lights or smart appliances and devices that aren't in use.
If you want to implement smart home technology into your home, Vivint is the best choice. As a leading smart home provider, we offer customizable packages that fit your lifestyle and the needs of your family.
If energy efficiency is at the top of your priority list, take a look at some of the best Vivint smart home devices to help you save energy and money.
Vivint Smart Thermostat
With Vivint Smart Thermostat, you won't need to worry about adjusting the temperature throughout the day in order to conserve energy—your thermostat will take care of that for you. And best of all, it will do it in a way that ensures you're still comfortable in your home.
Vivint Smart Thermostat is equipped with in-home sensors that auto-adjust based on your preferences and location. And because it’s a smart thermostat, it learns your unique temperature preferences. So if you like it a little cooler at night and warmer in the morning when you wake up, the Smart Thermostat will automatically keep the temperature in your home just the way you like it.
When no one is home, Vivint Smart Thermostat adjusts to conserve energy. Then, when you’re back, it automatically adjusts to the temperature you like.
Of course, you still have control over your home's temperature. You can adjust it at any time, wherever you are, with your Vivint app. And if you have a smart speaker, you can also turn the temperature up or down with a single voice command.
Vivint smart lighting is another smart home feature that lets you save energy and money while making life more convenient in general.
Take a look at a few of the things you can do with smart lighting:
Save energy with LED bulbs. Vivint smart lighting uses Philips Hue bulbs, which are energy-efficient LED bulbs, using between 72 and 80% less energy than a typical incandescent bulb. They last about 25,000 hours longer than a regular bulb, too, so you can literally go years without having to change a lightbulb.
Automate your lighting. Home automation applies to lighting as well. You can create custom actions that automatically turn your lights on and off at sunrise or sunset, or set it so certain lights turn off after a certain period of time. This helps you conserve energy without even lifting a finger.
Control your lighting from anywhere. It’s easy to leave the lights on when you’re in a rush to get out the door. But if you’re trying to go green, this is one of the easiest steps you can take. With Vivint smart lighting, you can turn lights on and off with your Vivint app.
Turn lamps into smart lights. Transform your favorite lamps into smart lighting with Vivint Smart Plug. This allows you to turn your lamps on and off with your voice or with the Vivint app. It also works with many other small appliances you plug in.
These are just a few of the Vivint smart home devices that can help you save energy and cut your overall energy costs. A complete Vivint smart home security system automates many tasks around your house, making your home more convenient, comfortable, and energy efficient.
Download our guide to home security.
Home is everything, so protect it. In this free guide you’ll find the information you need to create a safer, more secure home with the added convenience and comfort that come with smart automation.
Let Vivint help you go green
Conserving energy is easier—and more comfortable—than you ever imagined with a Vivint system. Find out how by calling 800.646.1469 for a free quote from our Smart Home Pros today.
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