Invest in more efficient systems and save!

Whether you're trying to be a little more environmentally friendly or you're a penny pincher looking ahead, investing in making your home more energy efficient is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment and your wallet. Sure, it might take some investment upfront – and that's never easy – but if you can swing it, here are a few great ways you can improve your home's efficiency. 

Upgrade Your Furnace or Air Conditioner 

As you might have imagined, furnaces have come a long way in the past decade. They're typically measured in AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, and furnaces that are 20 years or older typically rate about 60 percent. Modern high-efficiency models, however, can range from 90 to 98.5 percent AFUE and have features like electric ignitors instead of pilot lights. When it comes to air conditioners, the U.S. Department of Energy says that replacing an old air conditioning unit with a modern high-efficiency model could save you anywhere from 20 to 40 percent on your home's cooling costs. 

Insulate Your Home 

If you're in the middle of a renovation or you just want to add some insulation to your home, opt for the good stuff. It might be good to hire a qualified home energy auditor to help you determine what type of insulation you should use, how thick you should go, and where you should put it – especially if you're adding insulation to a home that wasn't originally built for efficiency. 

Consider Replacing Old Windows

Depending on your application, replacing your old single-pane windows with energy-efficient double-pane units can save you anywhere between $126 to $465 per year, at least according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Typically, people save a little more in warmer states, meaning this could be a great thing to do in addition to your air conditioner. 

Seal Any Cracks

It sounds simple, but make sure all the seals around your windows, doors, and vents don't leak. Every little bit counts. 

Don't have the cash right now? No problem, start with something like your HVAC and do the rest later. 

What are your thoughts? Do you have any tips for helping us save energy? If so, let us know in the comments below!

Do you work in an office? Does it have these first-aid must haves?