We have entered a very energy conscious time in our society, and efficiency is becoming more important with every passing day. The truth is, people want to do anything and everything they can to conserve energy, because it is not only better for the environment but it also helps them to save some money in the long run.
Energy efficient homes conserve energy, reduce unnecessary energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and demand for non-renewable resources. They provide significant savings over conventional homes.
Energy efficiency is not just for certain people, it is something that everyone can take a part in. But there is good news- there are dozens of ways that you can make your home more energy efficient with strategies and products, without having to spend too much money out of pocket. Here are a few things that you should try.
Front Door Replacement
Replacing your front door is a great way to start lower your energy expenditure and make your house more efficient. Its estimated that about a third of the energy we waste goes out the door, literally. Not only does the energy escape from the door being opened so frequently but front doors can take a few hits throughout their life, those dents and cracks can let even more precious heating and cooling escape. With the need to reduce our energy usage becoming more important to our future, a new front door may be just the improvement for you.
If you do decide to replace the door be sure to find the perfect front door replacement that provides the insulation your home needs. Steel or fiberglass doors are going to give you the biggest increase in your efficiency. While solid wooden doors carry a natural beauty- they are the most inefficient at insulation. Fiberglass doors can also still provide the beauty of wooden door through good cast and paint jobs. Fiberglass doors have on average, an 82.3% return on investment by providing you that more secure entryway and adding to the value of your home.
Insulate your house
Insulating your home can arguably be the most beneficial home improvement when it comes to controlling energy loss. Unless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you can probably reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation. Many older homes have less insolation than homes built today, but even adding insulation to a newer home can pay for itself within a few years.
With 35% of energy loss going out your walls and 25% through your attic, adding insulation to these spaces can significantly lower your heating and cooling bills. Not only will your costs go down, but you will also lower your carbon footprint by using less gas in the winter. You first need to find out how much insulation you already have in your home and where it is before you rip walls apart to put more insulation in. A qualified home energy auditor will include an insulation check as a routine part of a whole-house energy audit, which will also help identify areas of your home that need air sealing. Once the auditor provides you the information you can easily add more insulation to the parts where the most heating and cooling are escaping.
Install an automatic thermostat
There are several options on the market for smart thermostat systems. These systems are very intelligent and can help you to save energy by learning your preferences and automatically turning systems on and off. You can save as much as 10 percent on your annual heating and cooling costs by dialing back your thermostat 7 degrees from its normal setting for a few hours a day.
If you live in extremely hot or cold climates, installing an automatic thermostat can make a huge difference when it comes to cutting energy use without sacrificing comfort. Many of these thermostats can even be full house systems that include smoke and CO2 detectors as well.
Update to High Efficiency Appliances
High efficiency appliances can reduce your energy usage, saving you hundreds a year. Compared to regular washers, high efficiency washers cause less wear and tear on clothes, by extracting more water from clothing in the spin cycle- this also helps reduce drying time. They also can use up to 50% less water and 40% less electricity.
High efficiency refrigerators can consume 40% less energy, and compared to regular dishwashers, high efficiency dishwashers can use half the water and 40% less electricity. Each appliance you update can help your energy bills however you need to take into consideration the initial cost of the appliance, the operating costs and the maintenance and repair costs. Compare this with the operating cost and maintenance of your current appliances to see your potential savings.
Change to LED Bulbs
LED or light-emitting diode bulbs are one of today’s most energy-efficient lighting technologies. Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting. Compared to traditional incandescents, energy-efficient lightbulbs such LEDs use anywhere from 20%-80% less energy and have lifespans 3-25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
Look for bulbs that have ENERGY STAR ratings when buying. LED lights will have a slightly higher purchase cost than traditional incandescents, but when it comes to operating they require less energy. The newer bulbs also last several times longer than the traditional bulbs requiring you to replace them less- saving you even more money.
Do you have any great energy saving tips for homeowners? Share your thoughts in the comments below.