Improving your home's energy efficiency can help lower your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint. However, it's important that all electrical work be done by a licensed professional to ensure safety. Here are some tips for wiring your home for optimal efficiency without compromising safety:

Use Energy Efficient Lightbulbs

Replacing all of your home's lightbulbs with LEDs is one of the easiest ways to cut your lighting electricity use. LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. I switched all the bulbs in my home to LEDs and immediately noticed a drop in my electricity bill. Just be sure to choose the right brightness and color temperature for each room.

Install Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats like the Nest or Ecobee can help manage your home's temperature more efficiently. They allow you to program customized heating and cooling schedules and can be controlled remotely via smartphone. Smart thermostats also have motion sensors to adjust the temperature when you're away, saving energy. I installed a Nest thermostat and now keep my home 5°F cooler in winter and warmer in summer with no sacrifice in comfort.

Insulate Attics and Walls

Adding insulation to your attic and exterior walls can greatly improve your home's energy efficiency. Insulation creates resistance to heat flow and reduces heating and cooling loads. I had an energy audit done on my home which identified several areas in need of additional insulation. After increasing my attic insulation from R-19 to R-38, I noticed my HVAC system ran less frequently.

Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks let conditioned air escape, wasting energy. Carefully sealing gaps and cracks around windows, doors, pipes, and wiring penetrations can improve efficiency. I hired an energy auditor who used a blower door test to identify the air leaks in my home. After methodically sealing the leaks with caulk and weatherstripping, my home retained heat and cool air much better.

Upgrade HVAC Equipment

If your heating and cooling system is more than 10 years old, upgrading to a newer high-efficiency system can pay for itself in energy savings within a few years. Look for systems with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). I recently replaced my 15 year old AC unit with a new 17 SEER system which has lowered my cooling costs substantially.

While it may be tempting to try DIY electrical work to improve home energy efficiency, safety should be the top priority. Hire a licensed electrician for any major electrical upgrades. But implementing the tips above can still result in substantial energy savings. Let me know if you have any other questions!