Do you cringe every time you open your energy bill? Do you want to maintain your comfort without paying these high costs? Or do you just want to take steps to protect the environment? Whatever the reason, there’s a way to solve this problem. By increasing the energy efficiency of your home through various home improvements you can drastically cut costs all while protecting the environment.
A large percentage of the energy that your home consumes is related to the cost of heating and cooling the air in your home. On a hot day, heat from the outside penetrates your walls. Your air conditioning unit must consume energy to remove this heat. So, the more heat that you can prevent from entering, the less energy your air condition unit will be required to use.
That is where insulation comes in. Insulation can be made from various materials, but its purpose remains the same. Even though you already have it, you can always improve that insulation. You can increase the thickness of your insulation or change it out for a more efficient material. Some types of insulation can be hazardous if not handled correctly, so it’s best that you let a professional do the job.
Windows and Doors
Windows and doors can be a major factor in your home’s energy efficiency. When it comes to windows, generic types aren't always great at insulating. On a hot day, not only is heat entering through the window, but sunlight does as well. The sunlight turns to heat when it hits your floors causing the amount of energy required in air conditioning to increase. The same goes for doors. Without proper insulation, warm and cool air as well as your money go right out the door. That being said, there are many benefits to installing energy efficient doors in your home. You can check how energy efficient your door is by looking at its reflectivity value. This shows how much energy it reflects. With a rating of 1-9, you want your door to have a value between 7-9 and avoid going below a 5. By having more energy efficient windows and doors, you can save money and be more comfortable in your home.
An often-overlooked energy efficiency practice is proper weatherstripping. On windows, weatherstripping is used around the edges to fill any cracks left from the construction. On doors, the weatherstripping is placed around the door frame of any doors that lead to the outside. When the door is closed, the weatherstripping should create a tight seal. If your weatherstripping has degraded, then air is going to be able to move in and out of your home freely. This means that hot air will move into your home during the summer, and cold air will enter during the winter. By replacing your weatherstripping you prevent this problem as well as lower the cost of heating and cooling your home.
If you are often away from your home, then a smart thermostat is an excellent investment. There is no need for your home to be cooled or heated when no one is there. That’s not only bad for your wallet, but not very environmentally friendly either. By using a smart thermostat, you can schedule when you want your AC or heater to be running. The beauty of this is that you do not even have to be home because this is all easily done through a smartphone app.
Of course, you can use a manual or programmable thermostat to achieve similar results. However, a smart thermostat allows you to control what’s happening in your home from anywhere in the world.
Another culprit of high energy consumption is your home appliances. You obviously don’t want to throw out your fridge, TV, water heater, and other necessary appliances. Due to recent advances in technology, the energy efficiencies of these appliances have greatly improved. It may be costly for you up front, but switching to a more energy efficient refrigerator will pay for itself in just a few years.
Change Your Roof Color
The color of your roof can have a lot to do with energy efficiency. Much of the heat that enters your home is caused by sunlight hitting the roof. When sunlight hits your black shingles, that light is absorbed and turned into heat. That heat is then transmitted into your home. By changing the color of the roof shingles, or replacing them with a more reflective material, you reflect the energy of the sun's light rather than absorbing it as heat.
You can save yourself a lot of money on your energy bill by making some energy of your own. This can easily be done by installing a small wind turbine on your roof or in your yard, or by adding solar panels to your roof. These options come with a big upfront cost, but wind and sunlight do not cost a thing. So, after installation, you’ll be generating energy at virtually no cost.
Change Your Lightbulbs
After heating and cooling, one of the biggest energy consumers in a home is lighting. Inefficient light bulbs require a large amount of energy. Most of this energy is converted to heat rather than light which will only increase the cost of cooling your home. By investing in newer LED bulbs, you can reduce the cost of electricity by up to 75%.
Motion Detectors and Timers
Leaving the lights on in an empty room is a waste of energy and money. You can reduce this by installing timers and motion detectors that connect to your lights. That way when you enter a room the lights will turn on. When the motion detectors stop detecting the presence of a person for an extended period, they will turn the lights off for you.
Going green isn’t just a fad. It’s an important movement for the environment and for your finances. By doing your part and making changes to your home, you’ll be doing your part to protect the world in which you live. It may seem like a hassle at first, but the savings that you earn will be worth your time.