An energy-efficient home is easier on the environment and your wallet. It can also be just as comfortable in the heat of summer and cold of winter as a less-efficient residence. These energy-saving tips will improve your home’s efficiency for a more sustainable lifestyle, optimal comfort and lower utility bills.
Optimal insulation is an essential part of every energy-efficient home. It can save you up to 50% of your heating bill. In hot, humid summer months, insulation helps keep the inside of your home cool. The most important areas to target with improved insulation are the floors and rafters of the attic.
Upgrade Windows and Doors
Drafty, worn-out windows let a lot of air flow in and out of your home. These drafts can cause your HVAC to work overtime, increasing energy consumption. Assess if your windows and doors are drafty by lighting a candle by door and window frames. If the flame flickers, the area has a draft.
You may choose to seal window and door frames with weatherstripping or caulking. However, you’ll likely see more benefit from replacing windows and doors with more modern and efficient options.
Several factors contribute to superior energy efficiency in windows and doors, including the following:
- Multiple windowpanes with air or insulated gas between the panes (windows with Krypton or Argon gas between the panes are most efficient)
- Durable, high-quality frame materials such as vinyl, aluminum, wood and fiberglass
- Optimally positioned and shaped weatherstripping
- Doors made from energy-efficient materials (wood and expandable polyurethane foam are excellent door insulators)
Enlist the help of an expert window installation service to ensure your doors and windows are installed for optimal efficiency.
Maintain or Replace Your Furnace
A new, ENERGY STAR-certified furnace is drastically more efficient than an older, outdated one. New furnaces are made with lighter materials, have more energy-efficient engines and feature fans with variable speeds. They offer numerous other technological advancements that make them more efficient, too.
It is recommended to replace your furnace with an ENERGY STAR-qualified one if yours is more than 15 years old.
Unable to replace your furnace this year? Call a qualified professional to perform annual maintenance on your unit. This includes cleaning interior parts, replacing filters and repairing any areas causing the furnace to use more energy than necessary.
Limit Electricity and Appliance Use
Limiting the use of certain appliances and systems can help you save money while operating a more energy-efficient home. Simple changes include using a clothesline instead of a dryer and turning down the thermostat before bed. Leave at least an inch of space around the refrigerator on all sides for superior air circulation. Remember to turn lights, televisions and game consoles off when not in use.
Choose LED Lighting
Changing your old incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs to LEDs can save you hundreds of dollars per year on lighting. The standard life span of an LED bulb is between 50,000 and 100,000 hours, while an incandescent bulb lasts just 1,000 hours. Your LED light bulbs will pay for themselves for years or even decades to come.
Make Your Home ‘Smart’
Investing in a smart thermostat can lower your heating and cooling bill by up to 15%. This device automates your usage by adjusting to your heating and cooling habits. You don’t have to worry about turning down your thermostat at night because your smart thermostat does it for you. You can also adjust the thermostat from your smartphone when your schedule changes or you’re away from home longer than anticipated.
Smart lighting systems will also save energy by turning off when you leave a room or dimming at certain times of the day. The money you spend on these systems upfront quickly comes back in monthly utility bill savings.
Some methods for making your home more energy efficient require significant investments. Others involve simple lifestyle changes. Any changes you can make right now will positively impact your home’s efficiency and your comfort while helping you save money.
Author bio: Mauricio Jaimes is CEO of Davis Window and Door — a one-stop solution for the perfect replacement, remodeling and new construction of windows and doors.
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