Costs are rising, from food to commodities like energy and water. That’s why more and more homeowners are looking for ways to save energy and money. If you’re one of the many people who’ve felt the pain of inflation, it’s time to consider home upgrades that can help you save money on utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are seven ways to get you started.


The average American home uses 10,715 kWh per year. Over 50% of which goes to space heating and space conditioning. With the rising cost of energy and other commodities, it’s more crucial than ever to gain energy freedom and switch to cheaper, cleaner energy like solar. 

Going solar is one of the best ways to save money and energy. Solar panels are a one-time investment that will pay off in the long run, lasting between 25 and 30 years with proper care and maintenance. They can help you generate your own electricity, reduce your reliance on the grid, and significantly cut your energy bills. 

Installing solar panels for your home may seem like a daunting task, but with the right solar professionals, it can be a smooth process. Some companies like Sunrun can even take care of all the paperwork for you so that you can enjoy the solar benefits without the hassle. Plus, going solar is more affordable than ever with many states offering incentives and 26% to 30% federal tax credits for solar installations.

Going solar lets you save money with all the financial benefits you get. Plus, it allows you to contribute to protecting the environment by reducing your carbon footprint and greenhouse gasses (GHG) emissions. You have even more reason to go solar if you live that relies heavily on fossil fuels to generate electricity. Starting your solar journey today is a significant step toward a more sustainable future.


The average home in the United States uses around 40 light bulbs—more if you have a large house. This accounts for 15% of energy use in a home, which is why lighting is another area where you can save energy and money. 

According to the US Department of Energy, residential LED lights use “75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer.” While LED bulbs may be more expensive to buy upfront, they pay for themselves in energy savings over time. 

Besides the energy savings, LED lights are also safer for you and more friendly to the environment since they do not contain mercury, a toxic element found in traditional incandescent bulbs. Moreover, LED lights produce less heat when converting energy to light, so they’re less of a fire hazard. With LED lights, you can pick the colors and styles that fit your home’s aesthetic and lighting preferences.


Water-efficient faucets, showerheads, and toilets can also help you save money and water. There are low-flow showerheads and faucets that use less water without sacrificing water pressure. Meanwhile, water-efficient toilets, like Sanflo’s Sanibest Pro, consume less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. These upgrades not only help you lower your water bill but also contribute to conserving a precious resource—water.

Water-efficient features can help significantly lower your monthly utility bill. Besides the financial savings, you also help to conserve water, which is becoming an increasingly scarce resource in many parts of the world. When you use less water, you also use less energy to heat, treat, and distribute water, helping reduce your energy bills and save the environment.


According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% on heating and cooling by “turning your thermostat back 7°F to 10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. With a programmable thermostat, you can control your home’s temperature even when you’re not there. Your automatic thermostat can maintain the ideal temperatures when you’re away or asleep. 

If your HVAC system is due for an update, consider getting a newer model that comes with smart features. Go for one that can learn your habits and adjust the temperature automatically, saving you even more money.

Stop your HVAC system from wasting energy and money by heating or cooling an empty home. With an automatic thermostat, you can program your thermostat to adjust the temperature based on your schedule. This means you can come home to a comfortable temperature without having to pay a fortune to keep your home heated or cooled all day.


Upgrading your home’s insulation can also help you save energy and money. Proper insulation helps keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. 

Insulation upgrades can also help reduce noise, improve indoor air quality, and increase your home’s value. Not only that, proper insulation also keeps your home safe from bugs and allergens, reduces disruptive noise (especially from outside), and increases your home’s resale value.


If you’re looking to replace your old TV, refrigerator, washing machine, and more, go for ENERGY STAR–certified appliances. These appliances use up to 50% less energy than their non-certified counterparts. That’s because they are designed and built to use power more efficiently and consume less water and electricity while still providing the same performance.

By upgrading to ENERGY STAR appliances, you save money on your energy bills and help to reduce your carbon footprint. Moreover, these appliances are built to last and come in a variety of styles and sizes to fit your home’s needs. Plus, many states offer rebates and incentives for ENERGY STAR appliance upgrades, making it an even more attractive option.


Ease the burden on your HVAC system by planting trees and vegetation around your home. This can help cool and heat your property by providing shade and keeping away strong winds. In the summer, plants, especially trees, keep the sun at bay, helping reduce the amount of heat absorbed by your home during the summer. Meanwhile, they can act as a windbreak in the colder months, lessening the amount of cold air that enters your home.

When you plan trees and vegetation around your home, you save energy and create a healthier environment in your community. Trees and vegetation produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They also provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, improving biodiversity in your community. 

Before getting your hands dirty, make sure to choose native trees and vegetation that will thrive in your area. Introducing non-native plants can cause more harm than good to your local ecosystem.


Upgrading your home to save energy and money is a smart financial decision and a responsible environmental choice. You can significantly cut down your utility bills while also reducing your carbon footprint by doing the following:

  • Going solar
  • Switching to LED lights
  • Using water-efficient fixtures 
  • Installing programmable thermostats 
  • Upgrading your insulation 
  • Choosing energy-efficient appliances 
  • Planting trees and vegetation

Making other sustainable changes can also help you save on your utility bills while contributing to the environment. Small changes can make a big impact on your home. And if more people follow suit, it can create an even bigger impact on the community. Invest in energy-efficient upgrades to save money in the long run and contribute to a more sustainable future. So, take the first step toward a more energy-efficient and sustainable home today!

Guest Contributor: Eden Gabriels


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