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Finding ways to make their homes more energy-efficient has become a greater necessity for many modern homeowners. Unlike in past decades, many new homes are being designed and built for greater energy-efficiency. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save energy in an older home. There are many simple methods you may not be aware of that will help you save money and support the environment. Learn some of the top ways to save energy in your home by reading below.

Turn Down Your Thermostat

Getting into the habit of keeping your thermostat lower while you’re out of your home is one helpful way to save energy. You can save anywhere between 5 and 15 percent of your energy usage by turning your thermostat down 5 or 10 degrees while you’re away at work. When you’re home, you can turn it down even just 3 to 5 degrees to significantly reduce your utility bill.

Make a Compost Pile

The waste you would normally discard in the trash is actually valuable. Compost piles offer several benefits, and you don’t need a massive space to start one. Compost piles are made up of any organic waste that will decompose gradually into the ground. Turn your waste into fertilizer for your lawn or garden while reducing the amount of trash you produce each day.

Only Run Water When Necessary

So many people use high amounts of water unnecessarily without even thinking about it. If you properly reduce unnecessary water usage, you can save up to $170 a year on your water bill. Overuse of water generally happens when you’re doing simple tasks such as brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing dishes. Run your water only when you need to rinse. You can also save on water by showering instead of taking baths. Baths take an estimated 75 gallons of water, whereas showering only uses about 17 gallons. Also, instead of washing half-loads of laundry, wait to do full loads so that you’re running the machine half the number of times.

Upgrade Your Windows

Of the ways to save energy in your home, upgrading to energy-efficient windows is one of the most beneficial. Taking steps to make your windows energy efficient will make it possible for you to save on energy expenses for years to come. You can get windows designed with energy-efficient materials such as vinyl, wood, fiberglass, and composite wood. You can also install glass with special coatings that are more insulating and that let in more light, which will ultimately heat up the room more. This means you can keep your thermostat lower and still keep your home warm.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.