Think Outside The House

While it’s true that there are plenty of things you can do within the walls of your home to save energy, many homeowners aren’t aware that the great outdoors can be a huge drain on your monthly energy bills. Ok, so maybe you’re thinking that if it’s an outdoor space then it’s not affecting your indoor comfort or energy bills. But that’s a myth that will cost you. To get your energy spending under control, consider these tips:

  • Sunscreen isn’t just for your skin. Outdoor spaces such as porches and patios often allow the sun to overheat your home. In fact, planting trees and shrubs on the sunny side of your house – especially ones that provide a screen for your heating and cooling unit – can help cut your energy costs by as much as 10%.
  • Seek shade – for your windows and doors that is. Installing outdoor awnings to block sunlight helps keep your home cooler during the summer months, and helps save your energy dollars – which is even more cool.
  • Saving start at the top. If you’re thinking of replacing your roof, reflective materials may be the way to go. When the sun’s heat bounces off the roof, the amount of heat entering is reduced. Even better? Many of these types of roofs are eligible for the $1,500 tax credits that end this year.
  • Install motion sensors on outdoor light fixtures. You won’t have to remember to turn them off and they will still discourage unwanted ‘guests’ during the night.

Bottom Line: Saving energy doesn’t stop inside the four walls of your home. It extends to include everything around your home as well. Being aware of outdoor energy wasters – and savers – can keep your cold, hard cash in your wallet where it belongs.