Wednesday, March 1, 2023

8 Ways to Ensure Your Home is Energy Efficient

 Even though spring is just around the corner, the first half of spring tends to be pretty cold. Everyone needs to stay cozied up and warm in their home, but what’s also important is to ensure that your home is energy efficient. Gas and electricity prices won’t be going down any time soon. 

So, why not help out with the environment and focus more on energy-efficient practices? You might be surprised how much money you’ll save in the process! So, if you want to see how you can make your home energy efficient, keep reading on to learn more!

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Swap Out Appliances for Energy Star

When working towards being an eco-friendly household, one thing that comes to mind is using what you already have. Using what you have means fewer items will go to the landfill. This makes a lot of sense. However, you may be doing more harm than good if it’s kitchen appliances. Older kitchen appliances tend to be less energy efficient; the older the appliance is, the less likely it will be efficient. Instead, why not consider swapping for a more energy-efficient appliance for your home (especially the kitchen)?

Energy Star appliances are designed to reduce your home's energy use and can save you money. These products have undergone government testing to ensure they are efficient and do not waste power. Energy Star has a wide variety of brands and models of refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers, fans, and light fixtures that meet its efficiency standards. They are also available in lower price ranges than their non-Energy Star counterparts.

Get a Smart Thermostat

A lot of people believe that smart home technology is wasteful or uses too much power, but you'd be surprised to learn how wrong you are! Changing out your old thermostat with a new programmable model can save you up to 15% on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat will adjust your home's temperature based on your schedule to maximize energy savings. 

How so? Well, a programmable thermostat can cut your energy costs by heating or cooling your home at certain times of the day. It can also be set to lower the temperature when you're not home automatically.

Installing a new programmable thermostat can be a simple task that will help you save on your energy bills. The process is relatively quick and inexpensive, and you'll recoup your investment within a single season of use. Before you begin, make sure that your wiring is ready to support a programmable thermostat. This can be done by taking a photo of your wiring or using an installation diagram with the thermostat.

Check Your Water Heater

A lot of homes still have water heaters, does yours? They need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years, so it might be time for a new one. When you replace your water heater, you want to make sure it’s installed correctly. This includes making the appropriate connections and installing a pressure relief valve. Though, this is something a professional can do for you.

You can also save energy by reducing the amount of hot water you use or turning your water heater temperature down to a warm setting (120degF). New energy-efficient storage water heaters contain more insulation to reduce standby heat loss and distribution losses. This, however, is mostly for new models. But getting a new one could save you a lot!

Consider Getting Solar Panels

More and more homes are switching to solar panels, so why not give it a try? Installing a solar panel is an easy and cost-effective way to help your home be more energy efficient. It is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. When choosing the right solar panels for your home, it is important to understand how much electricity you use and what size system you need. This will allow you to calculate your savings on electric bills over time and see how solar will help offset your costs. These can go on your roof, siding, or even in your garden if you want!

Change Your Lightbulbs

One of the more common ones out there to try, this can make a world of difference! Energy-efficient lighting can save you money and the environment. Installing ENERGY STAR(r) bulbs in your home is one of the easiest ways to impact your energy bill significantly. Energy-efficient light bulbs use 25-80% less energy than traditional incandescent lights. They also last much longer. Plus, with smart lightbulbs nowadays, you can even change their colors!

Get Energy Efficient Windows Installed

Windows are an essential part of a home, helping to keep your home warm or cool and also providing a view. However, over time they can become less energy efficient. If your windows are leaking or have become drafty, replacing them is a good idea. This can reduce your heating and cooling costs and make your house more comfortable. It’s very common for this to happen, which is why thick blackout curtains can be used. But sometimes, that’s still not enough.

Window replacements come in a variety of styles and prices. Depending on the age of your house and code requirements in your area, you may need to consult a professional before installing new windows. You will want to look into the panes of glass, high-quality frames, and low coatings. All of this is going to have a huge effect on how energy efficient your windows can be.

Consider a New Energy Company

Sometimes, you can do everything you can on your end to make your home energy efficient, but your bill still needs to be lowered. This wouldn’t be your fault, especially if you had an energy audit. Instead, why not switch electric companies? You could save hundreds, if not thousands, each month just by making this switch!

It Might Be Time for More Insulation

Did you know that insulation needs to be replaced every 15 to 30 years? The average house loses around 30 to 40 percent of its heat through its walls, roof, windows, and doors. In addition, insulation reduces the amount of air that escapes through leaks and gaps in the envelope - the outer walls, windows, and doors. 

Air that leaks through the envelope wastes a lot of energy and drives higher utility bills. Air sealing and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and basements help with this problem. Insulation is a big deal, and you may need a new layer of it!

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