Study shows creating energy efficient homes trumps summer vacations

To many Americans, summer is a time of expensive energy bills and costly vacations. However, a new poll released by The Associated Press on June 7 indicates that many consumers are looking to break out of these spending habits by taking eco-friendly steps to keep their budgets in check.

Overall, the poll found that many Americans were cutting costs by starting in the home. For example, the source spoke to homeowners who reported buying environmentally friendly products, investing in home improvements and watching their electricity use in order to save.

Roughly eight in 10 people polled by the news organization said that energy efficiency is deeply important to them. By comparison, barely one in five of those polled reported that they were planning a vacation or the purchase of a hotly anticipated product such as a tablet computer or music devices.

Still, it seems that many of respondents reported that they will face challenges when trying to adapt eco-friendly habits outside the home. About half of those interviewed said it'd be difficult to convince them to purchase a fuel-efficient vehicle or sign-up for transportation alternatives like carpooling, as right now many Americans can't afford a down payment or bear the loss of independence. Many are willing to forgo a long road trip, however, because of gas prices.

Respondents said some small changes to their day-to-day routine are definitely on their agendas. These changes include making sure lights and appliances are turned off and avoiding overuse of air-conditioning so that electricity isn't being wasted.

Other steps to improve energy efficiency include replacing traditional halogen bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs, getting more energy efficient insulation installed, and of course, getting an energy audit from Alban Inspections to determine how to do your part.