Energy Efficiency: How to Save Your Own Energy and Make Your Home Green
There are two major reasons why people decide to go with a green lifestyle. The first one is the fact that they want to cut down on their utility expenses and make their home cheaper for long-term upkeep. The second one is the altruistic idea of doing something good for their planet. Needless to say, both of these reasons can be quite persuasive and are definitely positive.
Still, your reason for going green may significantly influence the way in which you decide to do so. For instance, those who are primarily concerned about the planet might put an emphasis on the environmental impact of your home. We are talking about things like the construction materials it was made from and the kind of waste that your home produces. On the other hand, those who are eco-minded, yet a bit more budget-oriented need to put the energy-efficiency of their home as a paramount.
1. Start with the insulation
The first thing you need to do in order to make your home more energy-efficient is – to insulate the walls, the roof and the attic. The price of such a project varies from A) the material that you intend to use for insulation and B) whether or not there is a government grant. Sometimes, we are talking about things like tax deductions or monetary incentives, while the situations where the government provides you with the insulation materials are as common.
2. Doors and windows replacement
One more thing you should know about the insulation is that it doesn’t end with your walls. You also need to pay a close attention to your exterior doors and windows. Replacing a traditional single-pane window with a double- or triple-glazing one can reduce the amount of heat that leaves your home by as much as 40-60 percent. Needless to say, this will allow you to warm up your home in the winter with much less energy spent, as well as to cool it down with the AC in the summer much easier.
3. Exterior maintenance
Keep in mind, however, that a proper maintenance of your home’s exterior also plays a huge part in its energy efficiency. A thing as simple as a regular gutter cleaning can have a major impact on the overall integrity of your home’s exterior. This is due to the fact that clogged gutters may cause in roof and wood fascia damage, as well as damage to walls, windows and doors. In the previous two sections, we went to lengths to describe a part that each of these elements plays in energy-conservation within your home. Due to the fact that gutter cleaning takes a lot of time and even skill, more and more people are turning towards hiring professionals to do this in their stead.
4. LED light bulbs
One of the most widely known ways of saving money on power lies in replacing all your standard light bulbs with LED ones. The advantage that this creates is that it allows you to generate the same amount of light with only one-quarter of the power invested. For instance, a 10 W LED bulb creates a 600 lm strong light. In order to get the same intensity of light, you would have to go with a 40 W incandescent bulb instead.
5. Exploit natural light
Another way to cut down your power spending is to try to take advantage of natural light as much as possible. If you are just planning a construction of your home, make sure your living room is oriented so that it gets as much daylight as possible. Furthermore, use mirrors and reflective paint in order to maximize the effect.
6. One step further
Finally, those who aren’t scared to invest some serious money into this project might even consider the installation of solar panels in order to make their home self-sustainable. At very least, you could install a solar-powered water heater and get a much better short-term ROI (it can pay itself off in as little as 2 years). In the end, you could also switch some of your old, power-hungry appliances for the low-power new ones.
By following these six simple steps, you can make your home significantly greener and your utility bill much smaller. Of course, seeing as how you will have to invest in order to get there, it might take a while until you get your money back and actually start saving. Still, each of the above-listed improvements also adds to the resale value of your home, which means that not a single dollar you put towards going green will ever go to waste.