Maximizing Energy Efficiency: 4 Home Improvement Ideas for a Greener Home
Maximizing your home’s energy efficiency offers several benefits. Firstly, an energy-efficient home reduces your carbon footprint and greenhouse emissions, which are the leading contributors to climate change. Intentionally transitioning to a more energy-efficient lifestyle helps you do your part to protect the environment.
Next, an energy-efficient home enables you to save money. Being energy efficient means using the least amount of energy to perform daily tasks, which leads to reduced energy consumption and lower electric bills.
To start your move to a more energy-efficient future, check out these four home upgrade ideas for a greener home.
Opt for LED Bulbs
One of the easiest and fastest ways to improve energy efficiency in your home is to upgrade your lighting fixtures. Most houses, especially older properties, still use incandescent bulbs for lighting. However, these traditional light bulbs are not energy efficient. Only 10% of incandescent bulbs’ energy consumption gets converted to visible light, while the remaining energy dissipates as heat.
For more energy-efficient lighting, choose light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. LED bulbs are often brighter than their incandescent counterparts. Although they can be more expensive to purchase than incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs help you save more money in the long run by using less energy for the same wattage. LED bulbs also typically last longer than incandescent bulbs, which means you replace the bulbs less frequently.
Choose LED bulbs with the ENERGY STAR rating for maximum energy efficiency. An ENERGY STAR rating certifies that the lighting product has met strict quality standards in color quality and light output, ensuring you get the best quality and value for your money.
Seal Leaks and Cracks
Leaks and cracks in your home allow outside air to enter, which increases the energy consumed for heating during winter or cooling during summer. Thus, sealing all leaks and cracks helps your heating and cooling system function more effectively and increases energy efficiency.
To start, visually inspect your home for any gaps on the exterior and interior. You can pass a lighted incense stick around potential leaks or cracks for hard-to-spot openings. If the smoke rising from the incense stick gets disturbed or blown out, a draft may be coming in through a leak.
You can also wet your hand with water and use it to feel around surfaces. A leak or crack with air passing through will feel cool to the touch. If you prefer to enlist the services of professionals to double-check the air tightness of your home, you can tap a professional auditor to conduct an energy assessment.
Once you have found all gaps, you can work on sealing them with caulk or foam sealants. To prevent cracks from reoccurring in your walls, you can use metal wiring, such as poultry wire netting, to reinforce your plaster or concrete walls.
About half of a household’s energy consumption goes to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Improving the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system can significantly improve overall energy efficiency. Here are some ways to do so:
- Rearrange furniture and clear the area in front of indoor vents to prevent air blockage and promote smooth airflow.
- Clogs caused by dust and debris can lead to improper ventilation. Clean the outdoor condenser and the condensate drain line regularly to help the HVAC system function more effectively.
- Try lowering the thermostat setting in the winter or increasing the setting in the summer by a few degrees. You may not feel the change with an adjustment of just a few degrees, but it can considerably lower your energy consumption and utility bills. Consider installing a smart thermostat in your home for automatic and hassle-free adjustment.
- Tap a reliable HVAC service provider to periodically inspect, clean, and maintain your home’s HVAC system. Regular maintenance helps you discover potential issues early on and prevent them from worsening.
You can also upgrade your HVAC appliances to more efficient models. To determine your current system’s efficiency, look for SEER and HSPF ratings, which measure the efficiency of cooling and heating appliances. Choose models with high SEER and HSPF ratings to ensure greater efficiency.
Install Solar Panels
Another way to increase your home’s energy efficiency is by harnessing renewable energy. These alternative energy sources lower your home’s greenhouse emissions and reduce its dependence on traditional fossil fuel energy. You can also save a lot on utility bills since your home relies less on electricity from the grid.
Before installing a home energy generation system, assess your home’s current energy efficiency to see aspects for improvement. Next, determine the type of renewable energy that fits your needs. One of the best renewable energy sources for the home is solar power, thanks to the abundance of the sun’s energy and the availability of affordable equipment to collect it. You can enlist a reliable solar panel provider to deliver and install the panels for hassle-free installation.
For more tips on designing an energy-efficient home, check out this resource.
Did you find the tips above helpful? Share your thoughts and personal energy tips in the comment section below!