A Modern Day Fairy Tale: Simple Ways to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient

Friday, June 22, 2018

Simple Ways to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient





Creating an energy-efficient home isn’t as challenging, or expensive, today as it has been in the past decade or so. There are many things a homeowner can do to make their home more energy-efficient, whether that’s implementing a new item altogether or making a slight change to an existing feature.


Here are a few ways you can save energy, and money, at home.

In the Heat

With the summertime heat underway, everyone’s air conditioners are on full blast. While it may keep your home cool, it also makes your energy bills skyrocket. There are many things you can do to help keep your home cool during the summer without the use of your AC.


  1. Pull the shades. Windows are a desirable feature in any home and can make the space feel open and bright. They can also turn your home into a greenhouse, cooking your living room to a stifling temperature. Pulling the shades, curtains, or blinds closed can be a great way to keep the sunshine from raising the temperature in your home and forcing you to blast the air conditioner even harder. You can also benefit from buying blackout curtains, which help block the sunlight and keep your home naturally cool.


  1. Use a fan. We all know that fans don’t provide the icy reprieve from the dog days of summer that an air conditioner does, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. Turing on your fans can help circulate the air throughout your home, which can help alleviate the feeling of stagnant heat. You can also create a misty breeze-like effect as well by placing a bowl of ice in front of your fan, which will blow cold air wherever you point it.


  1. Change your ceiling fans. Did you know that you can change the rotation direction of your ceiling fans to accommodate the season? Switching them to rotate counter-clockwise, combined with a higher speed setting, will help you and your family feel cooler during the hot summer days.


  1. Keep yourself cool. You can do a lot to help yourself chill out by focusing on your body temperature, rather than the ambient temperature. Sipping ice water, eating a bowl of ice cream, or placing a cold cloth on your neck can all be fantastic ways to cool your body down and make you feel a bit more comfortable. If you’re adamant on using your air conditioner (no one blames you), then you should ensure that you’re not wasting any unnecessary energy. Sealing any cracks or drafty windows can prevent the cold air from leaking out of your home. In fact, drafty windows can increase your energy bill by 10% to 25%.  

To Save Water

Water usage is another area that homeowners find themselves paying too much for, and wondering how they got to this point. It’s actually quite easy to use more water than you need to, and hard to realize you’re doing it. Here are a few ways to cut down on water usage.


  1. Low-flow fixtures. When you turn on the faucet or showerhead, the water comes gushing out pretty fast right? Chances are, you don’t need that much water to wash your hands or fill your glass. Installing inexpensive low-flow fixtures can save water by limiting the amount of water that they expel when you turn them on. Not only are they inexpensive and can save water, but you can expect a significant drop in your annual water bill as well.


  1. Dishwashers and washing machines. Older dishwashers and washing machines can waste a lot of water per use, an average of 5.8 gallons per cycle for dishwashers. By switching to newer, energy-efficient models, you can save a lot of water per use. That means more money in your pocket at the end of the year as well.


  1. Tankless water heaters. Installing tankless water heaters can save homeowners a pretty significant amount of water and typically last much longer than traditional water heaters. This project is more suited for a professional, so contact your local experts for installation information.

In the Cold

Even though it may not be on your list of priorities right now, making changes and upgrades to your home now can save you a lot of headaches during the winter. Here are some changes you might consider to help you stay warm during the colder months.


  1. Fix any gaps or cracks. This was mentioned briefly already, but it can be a simple way to drastically cut down on your energy bills. You can find a majority of these cracks by looking at the foundation of your home and doing a visual walkthrough. For the hard-to-spot leaks, light an incense stick and hold it near doors, windows, and outlets/switch covers. If the smoke billows, then you have a draft that needs to be fixed.


  1. UV windows. New, UV-tinted windows can help heat your home without the need to turn up the thermostat. They work by allowing the warming sunlight into your home and keeping it there. This not only can help heat your home during the cooler days, but it can be a significant increase to your home’s resale value as well.


  1. Add more/better insulation. Your home’s ability to retain heat and keep the cold outside is greatly due to the insulation. When your home has old or insufficient insulation, then heat can easily escape your home and the cold air can permeate the walls. Keep the warm air inside by adding an additional layer of insulation, particularly to your attic. The Energy Star Program created by the Environmental Protection Agency, more commonly referred to as the EPA, estimates that adding insulation and sealing gaps and cracks that let air escape can reduce monthly energy bills by 20%.

In General

There are also many general things you can do around your home to decrease energy consumption and save you some paperbacks.


  1. Update the kitchen. Your kitchen is a commonly used room in your house and is home to numerous appliances and energy-using applications. Renovating your kitchen and updating your appliances, light fixtures, and plumbing can help you reduce water and energy consumption. On top of that, even minor kitchen renovations have an average return on investment of 82.7%, giving you another great way to increase your home’s resale value.


  1. Change out your materials. If you’re really looking for a way to decrease your residential energy use for good, then consider a home renovation in which you add insulating concrete form walls. ICF walls can be a great way to reduce energy costs and can save homeowners anywhere between 20% and 25% on yearly heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. You can also use this time to install more energy-efficient windows.


  1. Replace light bulbs with LEDs. One of the most basic things you can do to help your home become more energy-efficient, without starting a home remodel, is to swap out your existing light bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs. These types of bulbs use less energy and are more eco-friendly than your traditional incandescent light bulbs.

There are countless other ways to create an energy-efficient home and they can range from big projects to simple tasks. Yet, no matter how big or small they might seem, any energy-efficient home improvements can be invaluable to your cost of living and the betterment of planet earth.

1 comment:

  1. This would save energy, but it would be costly to do all of these repairs... Hopefully they develop ways to fix things that we already use instead of making us buy tons of new products which are probably damaging to the environment to produce.

    ReplyDelete

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