Without a doubt, energy efficiency is on the mind of every consumer these days as being energy efficient can save you a ton of money. While paying for the energy you use is a part of your household’s yearly budget, there are some things you can do that will slash your energy bills drastically. Here are four handy energy efficiency tips for you.

Invest in Replacement Windows

One of the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency is to invest in high quality double-paned replacement windows. If your home currently features old, outdated windows you are losing money on energy as air is certainly leaking around your windows. And, when the wind picks up and the temperatures drop during the fall and winter months, those outdated windows of yours will have you reaching for the nearest blanket just to keep yourself warm as a lot of warm air is escaping from your home while cold air is finding its way in. Replacement windows may cost you a couple thousand dollars but that money will be well-spent as your new replacement windows will more than pay for themselves in terms of energy efficiency down the road.

Turn Off Appliances when Not in Use

Right up there with air leaks caused by outdated windows are so-called “phantom loads”. That term refers to the energy that your appliances and electronic devices consume when they’re not actually turned on. The US Dept. of Energy estimates that the majority of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed when the devices are actually turned off believe it or not! To increase your home’s energy efficiency by eliminating phantom loads, simply unplug those appliances and electronics when you’re not using them or plug them into a power strip and then turn the strip off when those items aren’t in use.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Once you get those replacement windows installed, it’s time to consider installing a programmable thermostat. This type of thermostat lets you adjust the temperature inside your home according to your schedule. In other words, you can keep your home comfortable when you need it to be. Now, when you leave for work, you are probably leaving your thermostat set at around 70 degrees or so. But why does your home need to be so warm when you’re not in it? You can save hundreds of dollars easy year with this type of thermostat installed in your home and the good news is that you can probably do the installation yourself as it’s not all that difficult.

Switch to Light Bulbs Designed for Energy Efficiency

An inexpensive way to increase your home’s energy efficiency is to replace your light bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs such as compact fluorescent bulbs. While this type of bulb will cost twice as much (or more) than a regular bulb, it can pay for itself in just six months as it will use 75 percent less energy and last up to ten times longer than an ordinary incandescent bulb.

There you have it! Four very good ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. By doing other small things around the house like turning off lights when you leave a room and washing your clothes in cold water, you can save even more on your energy bills.