The term energy efficiency as related to your home is more than just purchasing the latest appliances that say they use less energy. To truly have an energy efficient home, as the home owner you must be actively involved in conserving energy.
One of the easiest and least costly ways is to do the little things that make a difference in the amount of energy your units use. In the winter, when the house is closed down because of the cold temperatures outside, the furnace filter becomes clogged quicker than in the other months of the year.
A monthly check and cleaning will help keep your system operating at peak efficiency in terms of air flow. This also puts less of a strain on your forced air system which then requires less energy to drive the fan.
In the summer months, the condenser unit needs the attention of the home owner. This is the part of the air conditioner that sits outside the home. During the months of summer, debris accumulates on the grill. This can be from leaves, grass that was cut and blown on it or just plain dirt. This debris covers the coils which is the main heat exchange for the cooling system. The more that this area is covered by debris, the less efficient it can do its job and the harder it has to work, which uses more energy. A monthly or even weekly hosing down of the exterior surface of the coils will make the surface free of debris and the best possible cooling will be the effect.
The use of fluorescent light bulbs have also been proven to be more energy efficient than the incandescent bulbs. By using less power to produce the same level of light, your use of energy is more efficient.
These are just a few things you can do as a home owner to increase the energy efficiency of your home. This will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also reduce your energy bills.