You’ve probably heard about the popular trend in recent years to “go green.” You can do your part as a homeowner to protect the environment by constructing your home in energy-efficient ways. Doing this not only reduces harmful carbon emissions and preserves energy, but you can also save money on your monthly utility bills.
Deciding to improve the efficiency of your home sounds like a good idea, but it can also be intimidating as you consider where and how to start. Breaking down some key steps towards greater energy efficiency can help streamline the process. Here you’ll find some easy wins.
Common Ways That Homeowners Improve Efficiency
Home improvement can be like Pandora’s box: things can quickly get out of hand without knowing what you’re in store for. When embarking on a journey to improve a home’s energy efficiency it’s best to first consider expected outcomes vs. the required investment. In other words; will installing those new energy-efficient windows be justified in savings from decreased reliance on HVAC? Below are some common areas in which homeowners often find savings to justify initial investments.
High-Efficiency Windows & Doors
When it’s time to remodel or update the house, homeowners often like to install new windows and doors. Doing this with more efficient products will keep air from entering and escaping the house through openings in these spaces. This will mean your air conditioner or heater will not have to work as hard. Your monthly bills will be a lot more manageable as a result. Replacing your worn-out roof is another wise move.
Install the Right HVAC System
If your utility bills are increasingly higher than you think they should be, a poor HVAC system could be the culprit. If the unit is too small, it will have to work constantly just to keep up with hot or cold temperatures and keep your home comfortable. On the other hand, if the unit is larger than necessary, it will constantly waste energy. If you are building a home, speak with the contractor to ensure that the HVAC system is the proper size for the square footage and configuration of your house. With an existing home, you may need to speak with an HVAC specialist about whether the heating and air-conditioning systems are meeting your needs efficiently.
Install Low-Flow Showers
For some people, this might not be the most popular option. Poor water pressure in the shower can be annoying when you are trying to rinse the shampoo out of your hair. However, even slight changes to the flow of water can have a significant impact on the cost of your water bill over time. You can find showerheads that maintain the water pressure you want but deliver a smaller volume of water, saving you hundreds of gallons a year.
Try a Tankless Water Heater
Traditional water heaters can be effective in delivering hot water throughout your home. However, these are often not efficient. Plus, these water heaters usually only last about seven years. Tankless counterparts can go on for 20 years or more while still doing their job well. These devices are smaller, so they will not take up as much space in a landfill when their lives have come to an end. You also won’t need to rely on as much natural gas to operate a tankless water heater as you do a traditional appliance.
Use a Low-Flow Toilet
Many new homes have low-flow toilets. One of the hallmarks of these toilets is that they can conserve energy by up to 20%. Low-flow toilets use far fewer gallons of water per flush compared to even newer traditional models. If you have an old toilet, the difference between it and a new low-flow model can be even more significant. If you are looking for ways to cut down on your water bill and save more water, this option makes a lot of sense. The best news? Many energy-efficient toilets have sleek new designs that go well with all kinds of bathroom decor!
Install Solar Panels
Solar panels are a great way to help harness the natural energy of the sun to benefit your home. Solar technologies have greatly improved in past years and are on track to be the primary source of energy for many developed countries. There are several levels at which one can invest in solar, such as passive vs. active technologies. The end result is this: using solar energy in any capacity is a step in the direction of improving your home’s energy efficiency. Many US States offer tax credits to solar panel installation which can make the decision a no-brainer!
Going green and reducing your monthly utility payments does not have to be an impossible task. By following these steps, you can do your part for the world around you. Plus, you’ll have a much more efficient home. Start by examining the HVAC and plumbing systems in your house and evaluate the changes that you can make. Then, get in touch with a contractor to help you convert your home into an energy-efficient one.