With advancements in technology and the pressing need to switch towards eco-friendly living, energy-efficient homes are on the rise, and rightfully so. The U.S. Department of Energy claims that an energy-efficient home not only saves homeowners money and energy but also adds comfort and durability to their living space. Eco-friendly homes also offer a solid return on investment, with 9 out of 10 homebuyers preferring a home with energy-efficient features that lower energy costs. If you’re a homeowner looking to reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint while increasing your home’s comfort and value, here are a few recommendations:
Install Energy-Efficient Heating And Cooling Systems
Since heating and cooling account for around half of a standard home’s energy usage, energy-efficient HVAC systems are essential for energy conservancy. Performance, longevity, and efficiency are the key factors to consider when looking for an HVAC system for your home. Purchasing a high-performance HVAC unit with an Energy Star label can yield 10–30% in annual savings and reduce the energy used for heating and cooling by 50%. Inarguably the biggest hassle that comes with HVAC systems is maintenance. Most HVAC systems need to have their filters changed every 1-2 months for optimal functionality and efficiency, which can become a cumbersome task for homeowners to keep up with. An easy solution is opting for 20x25x4 HVAC filters that provide better air quality for heating and cooling instead of the standard 1″ filters, which need to be changed every 3-6 months. Though 4” filters are slightly more expensive, their longer lifespan and efficiency levels outweigh the costs.
Go-Green During Construction
Elevating a home’s energy conservancy starts way before it is equipped with eco-friendly fixtures and appliances. A house’s façade, building materials, and location play a significant role in decreasing its energy utility. Smaller homes can run optimally using half of the energy needed for a big residence as they require less heating, cooling, electricity, and water supply. But if downsizing is not for you, pay close attention to the materials used in the construction of your house. Lighter-colored bricks and reflective roofs deflect sunlight, which helps keep the temperature down naturally. Conveniently placing windows and skylights where the sun’s rays naturally hit your home is a great way to ensure ample sunlight is captured for illumination and heating purposes. However, heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25–30% of heating and cooling home energy use. Therefore, choose Energy Star-certified windows for 12% lower energy bills, and replace single-pane windows with double-pane ones to insulate heat.
Opt For Sustainable Ventilation
A well-ventilated home is necessary for ideal movement and air exchange throughout the house. An ideal ventilation system in a home is commonly achieved through windows, doors, and ventilation appliances with mechanical systems and fans. For those with HVAC systems, ventilation is built in and can be adjusted according to your liking. Sustainable ventilation shall assist in keeping the air clean, fresh, and odorless throughout the house while simultaneously moving moisture and heat out.
Illuminate The Home Effectively
According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, lighting leads to around 15% of an average household’s electricity use, signifying its contribution to your energy bill. Thankfully, many alternatives to standard incandescent light bulbs are available for homeowners. LED and fluorescent light fixtures are the best replacements that can produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent lighting while lasting 35 to 50 times longer. All in all, switching to LED and fluorescent bulbs can save you about $225 in energy costs per year!
Aside from bulbs and fixtures, sunlight is your best friend when it comes to illuminating your residence sustainably. When you remodel your space, look for obstructions in the path of sun rays, such as trees or furniture, and remove them at the earliest. Adding windows and skylights, as mentioned above, can further enhance sunlight exposure in your home.
Generating energy within homes is at an all-time high due to the multitude of benefits it confers upon homeowners. Those living in sunny areas with high exposure to sunbeams can make use of this natural and renewable resource to generate electricity and reduce carbon emissions. Getting solar panels installed on roofs is a one-time cost requiring low maintenance and yielding favorable results. Fitting renewable energy generators into your abode and purchasing portable solar chargers to charge small devices and appliances are further ways to effectively use solar power. Residents of windy locations can install a sizable wind turbine to make use of wind pressure and produce electricity. The house can utilize the electricity produced through these renewable resources for lighting, heating, cooling, and running electrical appliances. This way, your home can self-generate energy and be completely removed from the power grid!
Insulation Saves Costs And Adds Comfort
Another great tip to follow when modeling or remodeling your home is insulating the walls, roof, and attic. Insulation is a procedure whereby insulation materials such as foams and fiberglass are added to the spacing within walls or roofing to conserve heat and create a comfortable temperature. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 50% on your energy bills with an adequately insulated home and attic. Experts can be hired to carry out the installation, which is cost-effective since the materials used in insulation are often inexpensive. With an insulated home, you won’t have to constantly worry about maintaining a suitable temperature while saving money for years ahead.
Equip The House With Smart Products
As the demand for energy-efficient homes rises, many smart products and devices have been launched in home markets for better energy conservation and utility. Popular smart home products include smart bulbs, AC controllers, blinds, and smart thermostats. The smart home thermostat market alone is projected to grow from $1.27 billion in 2022 to $3.86 billion in 2029 in the U.S. Smart products are not only useful for energy conservation and money saving, but they also increase the market value of homes. In fact, 81% of homeowners who have used smart home products are likely to buy a home if smart technology is already installed. Hence, equip your home with smart products to secure a greater return on investment, increased energy conservation, and cheaper bills.
Prioritizing energy efficiency as a homeowner means paying attention to many details, ranging from the exterior of your property to the appliances and equipment installed within it. Going green for your next home remodeling project can transform your wasteful and expensive abode into an environmentally friendly and easy-on-the-pocket living space. Remember the abovementioned tips when you do so, and create a sustainable and high-value home for yourself!