One of the best ways of cutting down your expenses at home is to reduce your energy consumption. Improving the energy efficiency in your home can also benefit your health aspects as it can help reduce the volume of greenhouse gases, thus, giving you a comfortable life.
Although those are promising benefits, it’s ironic that many homeowners don’t have the chance to enjoy them. It was simply because they don’t know where to begin. Nevertheless, it’ll be good to know that there are simple ways to save more energy at home.
Benefits Of Having An Energy-Efficient Home
Whether your home is recently built or has been around for many decades, you can improve your home’s energy efficiency. Nowadays, it’s typical for new homes to have better energy efficiency. Older homes, on the other hand, may undergo upgrades to improve energy efficiency. When you do, you can enjoy the following benefits of having an energy-efficient home:
Climate change has been a worldwide concern, and there’s no way that you’re not aware of it. Whatever is the reason for this, you can’t deny that people need fresh air and clean water. You, in particular, need these elements for you and your family’s survival.
With so many green technologies in the market, you can use or install them, such as solar panels, to naturally get energy sources. That way, you can help eliminate carbon emissions from using electricity.
2. Reduces Utility Bills
One of the many benefits of an energy-efficient home is to reduce utility bills. The latest ‘energy smart’ home constructions are roughly 40-60% more energy-efficient than traditional homes constructed following the 1993 Model Energy Code standards.
The potential reduction in the utility bills results from the performance of windows, water efficiency, air infiltration, and improved HVAC systems.
3. Increases Value Of Your Property
Not only can you reduce your electricity bills, but energy-efficient homes can do well in the real estate market. You can sell your energy-efficient home at a higher value than typical homes with similar features, but aren’t energy efficient.
If you plan to sell your home in the future, give importance to every single project that could help the efficiency of your home. That way, you can sell it at a higher price.
Moreover, if you acquire green certifications, you can also expect to have higher home value than others.
Effective Ways Of Improving The Energy Efficiency Of Your Home
Now that you understand the benefits you can get from making your home energy-efficient, you now have to make your home energy-efficient. There are several ways you can reduce energy consumption in your home. These could range from a simple habitual adjustment to large-scale upgrades in your home.
Here are some of them:
1. Install Energy-Efficient Window Attachment
No homes are built without windows. This structural feature gives you access to the outdoors while you’re inside your home. Windows also serve as the entryway of fresh air and light.
Moreover, they’re essential as they help regulate the temperature inside your home. Unfortunately, many windows have poor construction as they permit the air to escape. This is one reason why many households have high utility bills since the home will typically consume more energy to create coolness or warmth inside.
One way of preventing these things from happening is to invest in the following energy-efficient home windows:
- Solar Shades: Now, if you’re searching for an excellent insulating window treatment and you want something that will not block your outdoor views, solar shades will be a good option. Solar shades are unique since there’s a barrier between your home and the detrimental UV rays. With the hazy material of the solar shades, you can still enjoy the view outdoors through your window.
Moreover, solar shades are available in various transparencies. You can find a blackout option if you want something that could keep your area dark in the daytime, too.
You can also employ these solar shades to help you manage the heat during hotter seasons. Install it on the home’s exterior so it can obstruct the UV rays and prevent them from getting inside the home. Moreover, solar shades can give you privacy during the daytime. And, in the evening, interior lights will provide people with some visibility. Therefore, you can install solar shades in rooms where you think privacy isn’t a concern during nighttime.
- Drapery: The use of shades or blinds can help reduce energy consumption, too. However, you can also consider using drapery to give an additional layer of insulation. You can also save more energy by simply closing drapes at a specific part of the day or could be at night.
During the summer season, draperies on windows can help reduce the heat entering your home. Also, drapes can lessen the chance of indoor heat loss during cold seasons.
You’ll not only love the elegant look of the drapery, but you’ll even appreciate this item as it helps regulate the temperatures in your home. Whatever material you choose for the first layer of the insulation, it’s always recommended that you use drapery to achieve optimum efficiency.
- Cellular Shades: Cellular shades were first introduced in the 1970s to provide a solution to the existing energy crisis at that time. These cellular shades are composed of honeycomb-shaped cells that work to trap the air within the pockets. This activity creates an insulation layer. If you want to achieve the best outputs, you must use cellular shades with two cells.
For excellent thermal performance and light control, find a top-down, bottom-down type as it could give you access to regulating the amount of sunlight penetrating in. You might find these shades stylish and sleek, and you’ll be amazed at how incredible they are in terms of saving energy.
Although cellular shades are minimal, they’re flexible and give maximum energy efficiency.
2. Use Ceiling Fans
Before air conditioning units, many homes were using ceiling fans to provide them some cooling effects. However, as time evolves and the introduction of air conditioning units becomes popular, ceiling fans are no longer the primary cooling source.
Nevertheless, as people have realized the effect of using air conditioning units in terms of electricity bills, many have opted to go back to the previous habit of using ceiling fans. You can still live comfortably in your home with ceiling fans, and, more importantly, you can reduce your energy consumption.
You can check around the market and look for the best ceiling fans to help you fight the heat of the summer.
If you’re wondering if ceiling fans consume too much electricity, well they don’t. The use of ceiling fans is significantly more favorable than air-conditioning units if you gauge it based on electricity consumption. Ceiling fans only use around 15W to 90W, and tower fans are around 100W.
However, the amount of energy consumed by your ceiling fan is dependent on the size of the ceiling fan itself. If your fan has 36-inch blades, then it consumes around 55W. Moreover, if your fan has 48-inch blades, it will typically use 75W. Fans with 52-inch blades are likely to consume 90W.
Thus, the use of ceiling fans can lower your energy consumption. However, you must remember that although they’re the simplest devices for cooling, it’s essential that you know how to properly use and when to replace your ceiling fans to ensure that they work efficiently.
Ceiling fans are the big fans you see on the ceiling, and they work by spreading out the air in the entire room. The circulation of air develops a ‘wind chill’ sensation that gives you a relaxing feeling.
3. Consider Mounting Cool Roof
As mentioned, you should consider installing or designing your home to increase its efficiency. Thus, when you’re building or renovating a home, you may want to consider installing a cool roof or ‘green’ roof. The good thing about it is that it doesn’t involve a high amount of money to install such a roof.
By using a cool roof, you can create a significant effect on your home’s energy efficiency. The ‘cool’ roofs have a lighter color compared to the conventional black asphalt roofs.
These are some of the benefits of cool roofs when it comes to increasing your home’s energy efficiency:
- Energy Star Savings: It’s estimated that the use of cool roofs in houses can help homeowners reduce their cooling costs to 7-15%. However, you must purchase the ones rated by Energy Star because it means they comply with the standards. Thus, cool roofs can perform based on what’s stated by their manufacturers as Energy Star already tested them.
- Cooling: The use of a reflective roof can provide coolness to your home once the heat of the sun strikes it. However, it doesn’t reduce your heating bills. Thus, if you live in places with a hotter climate, a cool roof is best for your home. It can allow you to save on your overall utility bills during the summer because it can deflect the heat from going into your home. Thus, it can outweigh the expenses on heating bills.
4. Replace Light Bulbs
Another way to increase your home’s energy efficiency is to replace your old light bulbs with energy-efficient ones. You can find many options when looking for energy-efficient lighting in any home improvement store and hardware. Some of the most popular lightings are compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light-emitting diodes (LED).
- CFLs: CFLs are the wavy versions of the long tube fluorescent lights commonly found in the garage or kitchen. Since they consume lesser energy than conventional incandescent lights, you can surely start saving by incurring lesser bills.
As mentioned, you must find an Energy Star-certified product, which still applies when looking for CFL. You should see yourself investing in this as you’ll eventually enjoy the benefit of lesser energy consumption.
- LED Light Bulbs: These are solid light bulbs that are known for their energy efficiency. LEDs were first developed as a single bulb, and they’re commonly used in different applications, like electronics, instrument panels, pen lights, and Christmas lights.
Now, you can use LED lights for home lighting as they have wider beams due to their diffuser lenses. LEDs are directional, which is best for under-cabinet lighting and other recessed lighting, compared to incandescent bulbs. But, you can look for LEDs with reflectors and diffuser lenses to have wider beams of light.
You might be hesitant to try these lighting options since they’re costlier than conventional incandescent bulbs. However, you can find a bigger opportunity to save money as they only consume less energy.
Use controls, such as photocells and timers, can help you save energy by automatically turning off the lights if not used. Dimmers will also help save electricity if you use them to lower the levels of light. When choosing products for your home, make sure to buy ones that could work well with your existing energy-efficient bulbs.
Now, if you install lightings in your outdoors, and these lights are left for a more extended period, you may consider using LEDs or CFLs. If you use bare spiral CFLs, make sure to use them in an enclosed fixture to protect them from the weather. You can also choose LEDs and CFLs for your floodlights. As they’re designed to endure heavy rain and snow, they’re appropriate for outdoor fixtures.
You must also make sure that you choose Energy Star-certified fixtures that are mainly made for outdoor application. Furthermore, your choice of lights should have practical features, like motion sensors and automatic daylight shut-off. That way, you can save more on your electricity bills.
With the current times, wherein every single cent is significant, it’ll be wise if you learn to be practical with your energy consumption. Thus, now’s the time that you begin improving the energy efficiency of your home.
There are plenty of ways you can achieve it, such as the ones mentioned above. Some methods may be a bit costly at first, but you can use them for a longer period when you buy from reputable manufacturers. Not only that, but if you evaluate the benefit you get after a certain period, you know that they’re worthy of your investment.