When working towards a goal of creating an energy efficient home, it’s important to develop energy-saving habits, however, it’s not enough in the long run. What proves to be the most efficient long-term solution, in the sense of preserving energy, cutting costs and minimizing expenses is implementing concrete energy-saving home improvements.
The choice of energy retrofitting solutions is wide, as is their price range. So, in order to create the most effective system for your home, it’s necessary to research properly and pick those upgrades that offer maximum returns but are also budget-friendly. Here are some ideas on how to make that dream a reality.
First, you should start changing some of your daily habits which will, in time, contribute to having a lifestyle that is practical and economical. Being energy-savvy means being fully aware of all the features in your home that consume a lot of energy and knowing how to minimize their effect.
Firstly, you need to consider the type of lighting in your home. In case of traditional light bulbs, incandescent or halogen, only 5% of energy used produces light while 95% is wasted on heat production. The way to go is to switch to eco-friendly LED lights. Replacing all the bulbs at once can be costly, so at first, make a habit of turning off the lights when you’re not in the room, and secondly, start replacing bulbs, one room at a time.
Another important factor is your electronic devices and appliances. It’s important to keep your appliances, such as oven and microwave, clean since energy is partly wasted to heat the dirty bits and food residue. As for the electronic devices, such as your computer, phone charger and hairdryer, make sure you keep them unplugged when not in use, since they still consume energy even when switched off.
As previously mentioned, switching from traditional lights to LED lighting will have a serious impact on your energy consumption and power bill. They do cost more initially, but they last longer and waste only 5% of energy on heat production while the 95% goes on lighting. They provide more light, waste less energy and are generally more cost-effective since they don’t have to be replaced for a longer period of time.
Another big energy consumer in your home is your cooling/heating system. If you have a traditional HVAC system, be sure to clean the filters regularly so the system doesn’t have to work overtime to achieve the same results. Having a thermostat installed is a great upgrade as it allows you to programme it to turn off if you’re not at home, thus decreasing the amount of energy used.
If your budget allows it, you should think about making bigger and more serious investments that will be more rewarding in the long run. The first step is insulating your home. This is a costly investment, so you can start with partial insulation and focus on the most vulnerable areas first, such as the attic, and then gradually expand the coverage.
Windows are also very important in conserving energy, especially in winter months, so replacing old panels with contemporary double glazed windows will certainly be a useful upgrade, one that will not only considerably improve insulation and thermal comfort, but also soundproof your home.
The final option to consider is installing solar panels that will greatly contribute to the overall energy efficiency of your home. This is indeed an expensive project, but contemporary property assisted clean energy (PACE) programs offer great deals for financing these large-scale home improvements, so much so that they can easily cover the cost of several energy upgrades at once. For instance, Ygrene Energy Financing is a smarter alternative to traditional credit-based options as it requires no upfront payments; there’s just one locked rate and you can make your payments through your property tax bill.
As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from to convert any home into a big energy-saving system. Start slowly by changing your lifestyle and habits, implement certain retrofits and upgrades and you’ll definitely notice changes in your energy consumption and utility bills.