Have you been thinking about doing some things around your home to make it more energy efficient? It makes a lot of sense for different reasons. Not only will you be saving money on your monthly utility bills, you will also be helping the environment by not using as much of its natural resources. Here are a few simple things that you do to your home to make it more energy efficient.
Older, single-paned windows can be a huge drain on your home’s energy usage, especially if the caulking is in need of repair. Those old, drafty windows don’t just let the cold air leak inside of your home in the winter, they also let the hot air inside in the summer. Today’s energy-efficient, double-paned windows create a much stronger seal and can make a drastic difference in the amount of energy that both your furnace and air conditioner need to use.
Skylights can be installed in any room with direct roof access and will reduce cooling, heating, and lighting costs. Best of all, it will do this while adding a beautiful new feature to a room. In the summer, heat rises in your home, making the upper levels warmer than the rest of the house. A skylight can be cracked open, with a screen in place, to release some of that hot air so your air conditioner doesn’t have to cool it. During the colder months, the sunlight coming in through the skylight will help keep the room warmer, reducing how hard the furnace is working. And, that same sunlight will let you use less indoor lighting all year long, reducing your electric bill.
Standing Seam Ridge Vents
You could be wasting a great deal of money because of a lack of adequate ventilation in your attic. Vents in the attic area of your home help to regulate the temperature of the attic year-round. In the summer, if too much hot air is trapped in your attic, it can have a negative effect on the environment of your home, causing your air conditioner to work harder to get the air down to a comfortable temperature. And, in the winter, you need that cold air circulating so there aren’t any moisture issues in the attic. Metal roof vents help reduce energy waste caused by your attic, resulting in a more comfortable climate inside your home with a lower monthly energy bill.
Another thing to consider is the benefits of using solar energy as the main source of energy for your home. While the initial cost of installing a solar energy system can be expensive, the government is offering substantial tax benefits to offset the cost. Over the course of a few years, the panels will easily pay for themselves with the money that you save on your utility bills. You can also add solar-powered light fixtures to the outside of your home and in your landscaping, saving even more money.
Taking advantage of energy efficient appliances is a great way to realize some of the financial benefits derived from modern technology. The major appliances in your home use a great deal of energy. Energy-efficient appliances are designed specifically to use a minimal amount of electricity, gas, or water, depending on the particular appliance. Older washing machines and dishwashers are both notorious for using large amounts of water. Energy-efficient models will not only use less water, but they will also use less electricity. The same goes for energy-efficient refrigerators, freezers, stoves, ovens, and even water heaters.
You may already have eco-friendly light bulbs, along with an energy efficient furnace and air conditioner. But there are still some fixtures that you can add to home to make them both even cheaper to operate. Adding toggle switch plates in every room is a great way to reduce the electricity used by televisions, computers, and other electrical items in the room. The toggle switch turns off the source of electricity at the wall, so there isn’t anything being used when it’s not needed. You could also think about installing a programmable thermostat. It will save you a significant amount of money on utility bills by keeping your home comfortable only when you need it to be. Dimmers can let you use lights at only the level you need, rather than using them at full capacity.
Having ceiling fans in your home will save you money during the warmer months and the colder months. They’re great for keeping the air circulating when neither the furnace nor the air conditioner is running. If the furnace is on, keep them rotating slowly on the reverse setting to push rising hot air back down to the ground. Fans pull cool air up and push the warmer air on the ceiling down the walls to help heat the room. In the summer, set it on the forward position so it is blowing a gentle breeze throughout the room, giving it a cooling effect.
Though this seems like an aesthetic choice instead of an energy-efficient option, there are reasons that different climates tend to have specific color schemes in their homes. The color of paint can make a small difference in your electric bill. Rooms with darker-colored walls may need to still have lights turned on even in the daylight. If you paint the interior rooms of your home in bright, lighter-hued colors, the walls will reflect the sunlight, making the room seem brighter, and you won’t need to have as many lights on during the daytime. In warm, bright climates, bright colors on the walls can keep a room bright with shades slightly drawn. This allows you to keep the home slightly cooler without the need for as much light or air conditioning. You can also repaint exterior walls with energy efficient paint to help keep your home your ideal temperature.
These are only a few different remodeling ideas that can make your home more energy efficient, which will save you money in the long run, and reduce the impact of your carbon footprint on the environment. Whether your goals are to save money on monthly bills or to make a smaller impact on the environment while remaining comfortable in your home, you will be capable of doing both with these changes.