As a homeowner, you have many expenses involved in maintaining the comfort and safety of your home. You may also be concerned that your current methods could be more eco-friendly. Here are some suggestions that can save you money and make a more positive impact on the environment.

1. Choose a Smart Thermometer

Of the many upgrades you can make to your home to save energy costs, a smart thermometer should be one of those you do first. Programmable thermometers are becoming more popular because you can program them to fit your daily schedule. Over time, the thermostat will ‘learn’ your family’s temperature preferences and schedules and provide the corresponding temperature. The real estate blog in U.S. News World reported a smart thermostat can save homeowners up to $150 annually.

2. Open Your Options for Energy-Efficient Windows

Your windows provide great views of your yard and the neighborhood, but they can also increase your energy bill. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat gain and loss through windows affects one-quarter of the energy used for heating and cooling. Home energy experts recommend using double-paned windows to contain energy use. However, you can avoid the cost of new windows if you check the weather stripping around your windows and reinforce those materials as needed.

3. A Better Way to Heat Your Water

Another significant cost for energy is related to heating your water. Statistics show heating the water you use in your home amounts to almost 18% of the home’s energy use, according to The Department of Energy. Some homeowners have found that tankless water heaters are a good solution. These water heaters don’t store a tank full of hot water; they wait until hot water is needed, before heating it.

4. Updating Home Appliances Can Save You Money

New home appliances sold today use energy in different and more efficient ways. One example of an appliance you might consider changing is your air conditioner. Home energy experts recommend switching to a newer air conditioner, even if your unit is only ten years old. More recent models of air conditioners have been shown to save 20% to 40% of the costs of cooling your home, according to the Department of Energy.

5. Ceiling Fans Bring More than Relaxed Ambience

Even if you decide to buy that new air conditioner, you can take an even more excellent bite out of your energy bill by using a ceiling fan. A fan will circulate the cooled air around the room. Using a ceiling fan and your air conditioner can save up you even more money per year on your energy bill. In the wintertime, you can reverse the direction of the ceiling fan to keep your heating bills low.

6. Light Up Your Home with Better Bulbs

Light bulbs are a must for any room in your home. However, technology has shown us there are light bulbs that use less energy and are friendlier to the environment. According to Budget Dumpster, LED light bulbs use about 90% less energy and can also keep shining about 15 times longer than traditional bulbs. In addition to switching your light bulbs, you should check the DIY store for energy-efficient power strips to save even more on your energy bills.

7. Top Your Home with Solar Panels

Solar panels have become very popular- with good reason. These panels will use the energy from the sun to provide energy for your appliances. Although there is a cost upfront, home experts agree that continued use of solar panels saves you money in the long run.

Your energy costs don’t have to break the bank. Try any of the above suggestions to help you save money and to help the environment. You don’t have to do everything at once; start with the one that resonates most with you and go at your own pace. You’ll soon see and feel the difference.