Renovating a home to update its style is one of the main reasons people decide to do it, but it’s also possible to increase its efficiency in the process. Thinking about new windows, appliances, insulation, etc. can be very stressful, but it’s certainly worth it as everything will pay for itself over time. You can greatly reduce living expenses and allocate that money to your hobbies, travel or invest in something else. Renovating your home for energy efficiency can seem expensive at first, but there’s no better investment for the long run. Keep reading and learn what you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency with renovation.
Seal the cracks
Air leaks can significantly affect your heating and cooling costs. Air enters and leaves your home through cracks and openings and contributes to poor indoor air quality and moisture problems. This can affect your health and your home’s durability and, if you want to avoid that, try caulking and weatherstripping, two effective air-sealing techniques. Leaks can happen around doors and windows, plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring, behind outlets, on the ceiling, etc. That’s why you should pay attention to these areas, assess them and seal the air leakage in order to reduce energy costs and make your living environment more comfortable.
Keep the temperature at optimal levels throughout the year
When a house is well insulated, it needs very little additional heating and cooling, it reduces noise pollution and it saves a lot of money. Nowadays, houses are built to good insulating standards, but if your home is one of the older ones, then you should definitely think about getting it insulated. Heat can be lost in all directions, so think about insulating your walls first, then the roof, windows and doors, and lastly, your floor. This is an investment that will certainly pay itself over time.
Use what the sun offers you
Traditional power sources have a lot of negative effects on the environment. Besides polluting the air and gradually becoming more expensive, fossil fuels are also limited and won’t be available forever. However, generating power through solar energy has multiple benefits for both your home and environment and its popularity has been slowly increasing. For example, solar systems contribute to around 5.2% of Australia’s electricity needs, while they contribute to around 2.7% in the US. There’s still plenty of room for improvement, but with solar penetration growing at an increasing rate, those improvements are coming.
While the cost of installing a solar system may be a concern, they provide a rather quick return on investment, especially in sunny areas. Upgrading a home with a cost-efficient solar panel, pays for itself in about three years or less. You can also consider installing a solar battery, which stores extra solar power that you can use later. You can save more money this way and it gives you flexibility in the way you generate and use electricity.
Don’t forget your windows and doors
A lot of hot or cool air escapes through windows and doors if they’re not properly placed and maintained. If you want to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, while also saving some money in the process, opt for low-E windows. There are a lot of energy-efficient windows and doors on the market. Consider using fiberglass for doors, windows, and insulation to keep your bills low and the energy inside.
Appliances can save more energy than you think
Electrical appliances account for a large part of your bill charges every month. That’s why some manufacturers have started making energy-saving variants of their products. These include refrigerators, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners, etc. They use small amounts of energy to complete their tasks, thus saving you money, conserving energy and protecting the environment. When you shop for new appliances, look for the energy star label, as it marks products that meet standards for energy efficiency and quality. When you consider how many years you’ll be using them, it becomes clear why you should opt to buy them.
It might seem like an insignificant thing, but…
The type of lighting you use in your home can greatly affect your energy savings. You can choose from a variety of low voltage, LED, compact and linear fluorescent, and some other types of lighting. These are rather profitable as they’re mostly energy-efficient; they use about 25%-80% less energy and they last 3-25 times longer. They might be a bit pricey, but they’ll save you a lot of money over longer periods of time. Changing the lighting when renovating your home can have a positive outcome both on the interior of the place and your electricity bill.
When you decide to renovate your home with energy-efficient products and materials, you should know that it might get a bit expensive, but it certainly is worth the investment. It’s not just about saving money and living in a comfortable and cozy place, but also about protecting your home’s durability and the environment.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogger and content writer with a focus in real estate, home improvement, and the construction industry.
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