6 Ways to Create an Energy Efficient Home
You might find that your home is wasting energy in many places. These costs can add up over the course of the year. There are simple steps you can take to improve your home's efficiency. Consider whether your home improvement meets at least one of these criteria before you make a decision about which improvements to make. Energy efficiency refers to a lower energy consumption. It is when the task requires less energy. A stronger heat transfer barrier between your home's interior and the outside environment can also increase energy efficiency. Energy consumption will be lower if the building envelope is improved.
You don't have to be overwhelmed by the idea of energy upgrades. There are simple ways you can make energy updates that will have an impact on your home. These 6 easy ways to make your home more efficient include updates that you can do in one day, and others that will result in larger savings.
1. Improve the insulation in your home
Your home's energy efficiency is greatly affected by insulation. Insulation blocks heat transfer. Insulation keeps warm air inside during winter and outside during summer. According to the Department of Energy, most homes in the northwest are not well insulated. Insulating your home and attic, especially, can improve your home's energy efficiency. The average homeowner can save $200 annually by having sufficient insulation. Puget Sound Energy also offers rebates for attic insulation upgrades. Most insulation projects take less than one day. This means that you can save more quickly.
2. Upgrade/Replace Old Windows, Doors, or Skylights
Windows account for as much as 30% of your heating and cooling energy consumption. Old windows, skylights, and doors allow heat to escape quickly. The impact of the home's envelope on energy efficiency cannot be overstated. The technology has advanced in windows, skylights, and doors. Minimizing heat transfer Low-E coatings and dual panes, as well as edge spacers and stabilizing gas, make this product more energy efficient. Energy consumption will be reduced by replacing windows, doors, and skylights. You can also get rebates for upgrading to energy-efficient products.
3. Replace your old lightbulbs
Energy-efficient lighting is an easy way to reduce energy costs. Lighting accounts for almost 15% of the electrical use in a home. An average household can save as much as $225 per year by switching to energy-efficient lighting. LED bulbs offer the best energy efficiency. LED bulbs can be replaced for 40W-60W, 75W and 100W bulbs. They also come with specialty bulbs such as track lighting and recessed bulbs. LED technology can produce long-lasting bulbs with a fraction the energy consumption of traditional bulbs. LEDs emit less heat and can be used to create more comfortable indoor climate conditions. It reduces the need to cool down in summer by not emitting any heat from the lighting. Solar lighting is an option for outdoor lighting that can be used without electricity.
4. Choose energy-efficient materials for exterior remodels
The building envelope of your home plays an important role in energy efficiency. For exterior remodels or updates, it is important to choose materials that are energy-positive. The right material can immediately reduce energy consumption and have a lasting impact.
Consider the type and color of your roof when replacing it. Shingles made of lighter roofing materials are more UV-reflective. This improves the heat transfer barrier. Owens Corning has a range of shingles that is energy-star rated. These shingles have the highest solar reflectance.
PVC membrane is an energy-efficient material. For a more durable product, the membrane has reflective properties. This reflective property results in maximum energy efficiency. It is possible to combine a PVC membrane and a polyurethane foam (a common insulator) to create a roofing system that is even stronger with outstanding energy efficiency.
Metal is another material you should consider for roofing and siding. Standing seam metal material is reflective of solar radiant heat. You want your home to be energy efficient for the long-term.
5. Furnace/ HVAC Updates
A household can expect to spend thousands annually on energy bills, with almost half of those costs coming from cooling and heating. The furnace system plays an equally important role in the efficiency and design of a house. It's a good time to upgrade if your furnace system is more than 10 years old. In some cases, a new EnergyStar-rated system can increase your home's cooling and heating efficiency up to 70%. You will enjoy a cooler home in summer and a warmer one in winter, while also saving money.
6. Eliminate Energy Vampires
A typical household has around 40 items that are plugged into an electric socket. Many of these items draw energy even though they aren't being used. Even when they are turned off, electronics such as computers, TVs, and coffee pots can still draw up to 25% of their full power. These items are known as energy vampires. There are simple ways to reduce your home's energy vampire load and cut your monthly electric bill.
Unplugging items when they are not in use is the best way to save money. This can seem like a chore, but it is possible. Power strips can be used to reduce phantom power consumption in your home. Many power strips come with a toggle that allows multiple devices to be disconnected quickly from the power supply. Some power strips can be controlled remotely using smartphones or other smart devices. Smart devices include smart water sensors and smart thermostats that can be used to control the electrical draw of your furnace and water heater systems. Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs such as LEDs can reduce the vampire load on your lights. Your home's energy efficiency will be immediately improved if you eliminate energy vampires.
Energy efficiency savings can really add up
You will save both monthly and annually by making your home more energy efficient. You might be eligible for rebates and grants that can help you save even more. It is true. Federally, tax credits and rebates are available for energy-efficient upgrades. To find the most current information about tax credits, visit the EnergyStar and IRS websites. Check with the US Department of Energy for information on available grants. You can also find information about direct rebates at your local utility company. Make sure you get the most from your home improvement projects and check if you are eligible for additional grants, rebates or tax credits.
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