Creating an energy-efficient home is not just a good way to save money, but it is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Fortunately, there are several relatively inexpensive and simple steps that you can take to make your Hawaiian home more energy efficient. Here is a look at just a few.
Install Solar Panels
While solar panels are not cheap, they are a good investment for long-term energy-efficiency. With all of the sunshine you enjoy in Hawaii, you are sure to get a lot of use out of your panels. You may even qualify for tax incentives to help offset the cost of the initial installation. Once they are installed, you will be able to generate electricity independently from your utility company.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Adjusting your thermostat while you are gone during the day can reduce your energy bill by five to fifteen percent every year. An easy way to ensure this is done is to install a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts to suit your schedule. This way, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to make the adjustments. In addition, you can program the thermostat to ensure your home has reached your desired temperature by the time you get home.
Monitor Space Heater Use
Cold is not a common problem in Hawaii, but when it is residents often turn to space heaters for warmth. Electric and gas space heaters are both great ways to keep yourself warm, but they are also highly inefficient. In fact, many space heaters use 1,500 watts of energy to run. To avoid running up your energy costs, look for a model that is energy-efficient and consider layering with blankets and extra clothes whenever possible.
Install a Storm Door
Storm doors can cost as little as $75 and typically last 25 to 50 years. Installing one with low-emissivity glass or a protective coating can help to reduce your energy costs by as much as 50 percent as you add an extra layer of protection from the outdoor temperatures.
Use Energy Star Products
Energy Star appliances can reduce energy use by 10 to 50 percent. Many appliances are available with the Energy Star qualification, including televisions, refrigerators, washers, stoves and air conditioners.
Checkup on Your HVAC System
Failure to properly maintain your HVAC system can make it less efficient, thereby costing you more to run your air conditioning each day. A checkup will ensure all of the parts are properly tightened, lubricated and cleaned for maximum efficiency.
Windows are a major source of energy loss in many homes. Consider replacing aluminum frames with vinyl frames and installing double- or triple-paned argon-filled windows to help prevent energy loss. Tinting your windows can also help to keep out unwanted heat. On the other hand, opening your windows to let in all of that sunshine can help to keep down your lighting costs.
Fine Tune Your Water Heater
Keeping your water heater in the warm range of between 120 to 140 degrees will give your water plenty of heat while also helping to keep down energy costs. You should also insulate your hot water lines to prevent them from cooling too quickly.