An energy efficient home will save you money, provide more comfort and appreciate in value quickly. You can upgrade different parts of your home to achieve higher energy efficiency. But the most important aspects are the home’s envelope, lighting, appliances, heating systems and electricity sources. If you are ready to save energy consumption in your home, here are some of the steps you should take now.
1. Do an Energy Audit
Before you begin to make changes to improve energy efficiency, you need to find out where you can make the greatest energy savings. An energy audit will tell you how much energy you are actually using and provide recommendations to reduce it. If you consult a certified energy auditor, you will get an evaluation of your home’s major appliances including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) which consume the greatest amount of energy in the home. You will also discover how to reduce heat loss and use less energy every month.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
When you upgrade your thermostat, you can make big savings on your energy bills. Smart thermostats make it possible for you to control the temperature of your HVAC equipment at different times of the day. So, during winter, you can reduce the temperature by a few degrees when you go out for work. You can also set it to get the house warm about 30 minutes before you come back home. Similarly, you can program a smart thermostat to switch off your HVAC completely when you will be away for a long time. It can also be set up to come on automatically just before you arrive from your trip with a smartphone app.
3. Replace the Doors and Garage
You can raise the energy efficiency of your home by upgrading your external doors. The front door and garage door can let in a large amount of atmospheric heat if they are not properly sealed. If you stand behind the door and you hear or feel the movement of air, it means you should consider upgrading them to energy star certified doors. Adding a well-designed and regularly serviced garage door can also improve the curb appeal of your home and attract buyers who will place a high value on your home.
4. Use Solar Power
Do all you can to harness the power of the sun for electricity and heat. You can take advantage of the falling prices of solar panels and start reducing your monthly energy expenses. In addition to conventional solar panels, you can also install solar powered window blinds, use solar powered phone and tablet chargers as well as solar water heaters. Using this type of renewable energy helps to preserve the environment and it can help you to acquire government tax credits.
5. Switch to LED Bulbs
If you still have any incandescent light bulbs in you home, take steps to change them to LED bulbs. While LED bulbs cost more than cheap incandescent bulbs, they will save you up to 80 percent of the energy consumed. They also last for decades so you will not have to change them often. The intensity of the LED lights can also be reduced in many cases to create artificial low-light conditions at night. If you feel that the cost of the LED lights will overstretch your budget, you can opt for CFL bulbs. Go round your home now and take inventory of all the incandescent bulbs and make a budget to replace them with LED or CFL bulbs.
6. Boost the Efficiency of Your Water Heater
Reduce the temperature of your hot water system to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Then insulate your hot water lines so that the water does not lose heat quickly as it travels from the heater to the fixtures and faucets. Also use low-flow water fixtures for your sinks, baths and showers. Better still, you can save more energy by asking a professional to install an “on demand” hot water system. This system will only move the water from the hot water tank when you open any of your hot water taps.
Use these tips to improve the energy efficiency of your house. After you complete your home’s energy audit, create a plan that will enable you to make the most cost-effective, energy efficiency improvements.