In the past decade, we have been hearing more about renewable energy and “going green.” It can sound intimidating, but making your home energy efficient is relatively simple. Here are a few of our best tips:
1. Seal Air Ducts
Air ducts can be the villains when it comes to saving energy, because of the important role they play in a home. When we turn on the heat or AC, the air ducts carry that air throughout the home. If those ducts are not properly sealed, the air will leak out making it harder for that air to heat or cool down a home. Sealing up your air ducts is like sewing a hole in the bottom of your purse, it will save you money. Overall this energy-saving tactic is an easy fix and is cost-effective.
2. Get New Lightbulbs
If you are building a new house consider using LED light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. If you are living in an older house, replace the old bulbs with LEDs. These bulbs are more efficient and they last longer. Replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs will use less energy, saving you money.
3. Take Advantage of Landscaping
Just like how we cool down under the shade of a tree, our homes will do the same. One clever way to lower the overall temperature in your home without touching the AC is the strategic planting of trees. You will need to do some research to find a tree that will grow in the climate you live in, how tall it needs to be, and how dense it should be to provide adequate shade. Next, you will need to ensure you place the trees in the correct positions. When the sun rises, it isn’t very hot so there is no reason to plant the trees on the east side of the house. You will want to focus the trees on the southwest side. Providing shade to the roof, AC unit, and even the hot driveway can help lower the temperature of your home.
4. Utilize Your Ceiling Fan
We are big fans of fans when it comes to saving energy. Fans can make a room get 10 degrees lower and only use 10 percent of the energy that would be consumed by an air conditioner. While fans don’t create cold air, they create their own air movement. This means fans can direct hot air to a different portion of the room, leaving you feeling cool even though your AC isn’t on.
5. Consider Going Solar
This option isn’t cheap, but it is incredibly effective and energy-efficient. Solar panels are a great way to heat water and provide electricity for your home. Over time they will help save you money and you won’t have to worry about paying your local utility company. As we look towards alternative energy sources, solar panels are great options, not to mention that they can help qualify you for some annual tax incentives!
Good insulation is key when it comes to making your home energy efficient. Insulation helps stop the heat from flowing out of the house in the winter and helps keep the heat out of the house in the summer. This means your AC and heater won’t have to work so hard. You will want to focus your attention on the attic, floor, and rafters to make sure those key spots are properly insulated. By improving your home’s insulation you could potentially save between 10% to 50% on your heating bill.
7. Seal and Glaze Windows
Just like insulation, windows play a key role in keeping the heat in your home. Windows that are not sealed properly will let the heat escape, making your heating system work overtime. Another way to make your windows more energy efficient is glazing. Windows that are double or triple glazed will effectively prevent heat loss. Overall, make sure your windows are airtight!
Here are a few more easy tips to make your home more energy-efficient.
- Don’t leave electronics on all day long, try to turn them off when they are not being used.
- Use natural light when you can and turn off the lights in your home.
- Only run the dishwasher when there is a full load to wash.
- Remember to replace the air filters in your home on a regular basis.
- Purchase thick curtains to prevent heat from escaping through windows.
- Arrange furniture in a way that does not block any radiators or vents in the room, this will allow heat to more easily disperse.
- Wash clothes in cold water on a lower setting.
- Hot Tip: when you use your dishwasher and laundry machines at night they can actually help cool down your home. Now you have a great excuse to put off doing laundry!