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It is a question that is often asked – how can I make my home more energy efficient? There are so many ways to do this. Energy efficient homes pay off in the long run, with more homeowners than ever looking for these features. Also, more and more states are offering incentives to homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient. It’s the best time to look at energy efficient strategies for your home. Here are some ways to do that.
Repair Or Replace Your Roof
Your roof takes the brunt of seasonal weather changes. If your roof is older than 20 years, if you are experiencing leaks or notice missing, cracked, or curled shingles, it is time to replace your roof. Consider using materials like clay or sheet metal instead of asphalt. They will help reflect the heat rather than absorbing it, which will naturally keep your home cooler.
Perform An Energy Audit
You can do this yourself or hire a professional, but an energy audit is the best place to start when looking to make a home more energy efficient. This will help you pinpoint what will reduce your energy costs and what changes to make.
Replace Your Light Bulbs
Traditional light bulbs consume a sizeable amount of electricity. They also need to be replaced more often than their energy efficient alternatives. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) use anywhere from 25 to 80% less electricity and last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs. They are more expensive off the shelf, but the energy savings and longevity mean that they cost less in the long run.
Replace High-Energy Appliances with Energy Efficient Versions
Appliances are responsible for roughly 14% of household energy use. Replace old appliances with appliances with ENERGY STAR labels. Appliances with an ENERGY STAR label will ensure that the appliance is using the least amount of energy. Energy savings differ based on which appliance is considered. For example, an ENERGY STAR washer saves more energy than an ENERGY STAR refrigerator. Nonetheless, ENERGY STAR refrigerators are still great and very effective.
For buyers in Missouri, the state has a “Show Me Green” Tax Holiday starting April 19 and ending April 25. Sales of qualifying Energy Star certified new appliances will be exempt from state sales tax.
Operating large appliances like dryers, washing machines, and dishwashers after peak demand times can also reduce the strain on the electricity grid. In the summer, peak hours are from 10 AM to 8 PM, and around 7 AM to 5 PM in the winter months.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats can save you tons of money and energy. These thermostats allow the homeowner to create a schedule that follows the homeowner’s schedule. Homeowners can adjust them during the seasons to heat and cool when it makes the most sense, rather than traditional ones that try to maintain the same temperature at all times. On average, programmable thermostats can save the homeowner anywhere from 10 to 30% on their energy bills. Some other features that a programmable thermostat include indicators for when to replace air filters or systems that monitor your HVAC system.
Insulating a home is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to make a big impact on the energy savings of a home. Unfinished attic spaces are responsible for a ton of cold air getting in the homes in winter. There are many other spots to insulate your home for maximum energy efficiency. There are also several kinds of insulation. To find the best for your home, you need to know where you want to install the insulation and what level of insulation you want the installation to achieve. Other considerations may include ease of installation, indoor air quality affects, and life cycle costs of the insulation.
Insulating your home can also involve “weatherizing” your home. Check for air leaks around the home and seal them. Ensure that there are no cracks or openings between the wall and vent, window, or door frame. Caulk and weather-stripping are easy air-sealing techniques that provide a return on investment quickly.
Install New Doors and Windows
Doors and windows play an important role in your home’s energy efficiency because both let air in. Remember, you want to avoid air getting into your home. The best way to fix this problem is to replace older installations with more energy efficient versions. Make sure all doors and windows are properly sealed, as well.
Install Window Coverings
You can keep your windows uncovered in the winter and take advantage of the sun warming up your home. Conversely, that sun coming in through the windows also heats your home in summer. Get light-blocking window coverings and make sure they are closed during the days in the summer months and at night during the winter months. Closing them at night ensures the heat stays in your home.
Use Power Strips
Electronics use a lot of electricity when turned off or in standby mode. 75% of the energy used to power household electronics is consumed when they are switched off. Smart power strips eliminate this issue by shutting off power to the electronics when they are not in use. The homeowner can set these to turn off at a specific time or after a period of inactivity.
Upgrade Your Water Heaters
Water heating uses a lot of energy. Traditional water heaters continually heat the water in the container. Solar water heating systems are a great alternative. Some tankless systems now even allow the water to be heated as it comes to your faucet, rather than needing to be heated at all times. They are, however, poor choices for large families or commercial spots as they cannot handle multiple uses of hot water.
Avoid Washing Clothes In Hot Water
If you haven’t upgraded your water heaters, try to cut down the number of times you wash your laundry in hot water. About 80 to 85% of the energy used for washing clothes is used for heating the water.
Upgrade Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system comprises heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. Heating uses a large fraction of home energy use. Upgrading your HVAC system to use ENERGY STAR gas furnaces can save you money and energy. Though ENERGY STAR air conditioners are available, they don’t significantly contribute to your electric bills. However, it’s best to upgrade your furnace and air conditioner at the same time to ensure proper performance and maximum energy efficiency. The third component, ventilation, can affect your energy efficiency as well. If the ventilation and ductwork are not properly sealed or insulated, it could let cool or hot air in and adding hundreds of dollars to your annual heating and cooling expenses.
We hope we’ve given you some more ideas on ways to make a more energy efficient home. Contact us today at 636-699-0449 to get started on making your home energy efficient.