Make your home more energy efficient this summer by starting in the kitchen

Summer is right around the corner, and while you're home heating bills were probably weighing heavy on your wallet during the winter, it's your impact on the power grid that you have to worry about during the warmer months. Now that the weather is agreeable, there is no better time to take on a renovation project that will help give you a more energy efficient home. Open up the windows so that your house is properly ventilated and start tackling those areas where you are wasting the most energy.

One room in particular to focus on is your property's main bathroom. It's not only the lighting fixtures that suck up a lot of energy, but even your appliances take their toll. For example, the showerhead in your bath, believe it or not, could be contributing to your electric costs because of the hot water that it is wasting. Older, high-flow showerheads actually use an unnecessary amount of hot water during the average 10-minute shower, which causes your home's water heater to work harder than it should be. If your house has an electric water heater, by lowering the amount of water you use when you bathe, you could save significant money every year on power costs thanks to the reduced strain put on this appliance.

According to the Department of Energy, by switching to a low-flow 2.5-gallon water heater, you could save almost $150 a year on your electric bill. To determine what other steps could be taken to increase your house's energy efficiency, have a home inspection contractor visit your property this May.