Energy efficient homes can reduce electricity bills and fossil fuel usage, thus contributing to both environmental and financial gains. So, how to increase your house’s energy efficiency? Read on to learn more.
Appliances – particularly older models – account for much of your electric bill, so consider upgrading to energy-efficient models. Light bulbs also consume a substantial portion of electricity; consider opting for compact fluorescent or LED models instead.
5 Home Improvement Tips to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
1. Install a programmable thermostat
If you want to save energy, investing in a programmable thermostat may be one way. A programmable thermostat will reduce both heating and cooling costs by automatically lowering temperature during unoccupied times.
These periods may occur while you and your family are away at work or school, leading to significant energy savings and reduced utility bills.
There are various kinds of programmable thermostats on the market, each offering different features. You can select models that allow you to set the temperature by degrees each day or adjust based on time of day; there are even models with zone control features which let you set individual rooms’ thermostats so they can be individually cooled or heated.
Consider how often you plan to manually override the thermostat’s pre-programmed settings; doing this frequently forces it to work harder in maintaining an ideal temperature for you and others.
Furthermore, set your program so it reduces settings about 60 minutes before sleep time, then increases them 30 minutes prior to awakening time each morning.
Wi-Fi-enabled programmable thermostats (commonly referred to as smart thermostats) make controlling HVAC systems easy with smartphones, tablets and computers.
Some devices offer apps and personalized website accounts so you can monitor changes even while away from the building. This feature can prove particularly helpful in an office or warehouse occupied only on certain days of the week.
2. Insulate your attic
Attic insulation is one of the simplest and cost-effective ways to increase energy efficiency in your home. Just one home improvement project could save up to 15% in heating and cooling costs! Finding suitable R-value insulation depends on where you live.
Uninsulated attics allow hot air from inside your house to leak into your attic, leading to temperatures in there increasing and leading to heat loss from other areas of your home. Insulating it eliminates this issue and makes life much more comfortable and efficient in your house overall.
Insulated attics also reduce outside noise, making stormy conditions much less disruptive for your pet and providing much-needed sound attenuation. Open cell spray foam insulation offers optimal sound attenuation properties.
Insulating your attic not only saves money in energy savings but can also maintain good roof condition. Heat can cause shingles to expand and crack under its weight, allowing water vapor into your walls and damaging wood framing if water seeps in through gaps between shingles.
Insulating will slow this build-up of heat and moisture, which extends the lifespan of your roof while protecting walls against potential damage.
An improperly insulated attic can allow outdoor air pollutants, including dirt, radon, smoke and mold spores into your house – contributing to headaches and fatigue. Installing insulation will stop this problem while giving your family cleaner air indoors.
3. Upgrade your appliances
Investing in energy efficient appliances can help lower both your electricity bill and carbon footprint. When shopping for new appliances, look for those marked by Energy Star; these energy and water efficient devices use fewer resources while still offering features designed to make life simpler.
Upgraded appliances can both lower electric costs and increase the value of your home. Make sure that when selecting new appliances that match the aesthetic of existing fixtures; this will keep your home looking unified and cohesive.
Other ways of saving energy include switching to LED bulbs and washing your clothes in cold water – both changes can help lower your energy bill by 10%! It is also important to remember to switch off lights when they aren’t being used – lighting costs account for around 12% of household utility costs on average.
If you’re building a new home, energy efficiency should be top of mind from day one. While initial costs may increase initially, their payoff can come through lower energy bills over time.
You can also increase energy efficiency in existing properties through upgrades or renewable sources of power. Home warranties can include appliance coverage, as there are many different options.
As you prepare to buy or sell your home, keep energy efficiency top of mind when marketing it to potential buyers.
According to the National Association of Realtors 2023 Generational Trends report, heating and cooling efficiency as well as windows with energy-saving capabilities top the list of features homebuyers seek in homes they purchase; solar panels also help save costs and protect the environment.
4. Replace your light bulbs
Homeowners considering ways to increase energy efficiency often think of remodels for kitchen and bathroom upgrades first; but one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of cutting energy consumption can actually be quite straightforward: replacing traditional light bulbs with LEDs could save as much as $225 annually according to one recent study.
LEDs use less electricity than halogen bulbs and last 25 times longer, as well as being an affordable upgrade option. To maximize savings and ensure maximum savings potential when replacing lights, it’s wise to begin by replacing those used the most regularly first and replace with bulbs with labels reading “exact fit” or “perfect match”, which guarantee they’ll fit with existing fixtures exactly.
Other home improvements to increase energy efficiency include installing a programmable thermostat and adding insulation to your attic, but you could make the biggest savings simply by switching to LED lighting and using energy saving settings like “economy.”
If you want to make more drastic changes, hire an energy assessor who will conduct a home energy assessment and give a Home Energy Score, similar to an MPG rating for cars.
This rating system grades your home from one to ten on its energy efficiency rating scale and indicates where improvements could be made while saving money by decreasing unnecessary energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, non-renewable resource demand and consumption costs over its expected life span.
Home energy-efficient improvements may even save money by saving money through reduced bills due to reduced unnecessary consumption or emissions costs over their expected lifecycle; home energy-efficient improvements may even save money over their expected life span!
5. Add insulation to your walls
Homeowners looking to increase home value typically consider upgrades such as kitchen or bathroom remodels and renovations as the first steps in increasing energy efficiency of their home, but didn’t realize adding insulation could also increase energy savings?
Insulation prevents thermal transfer which makes your heating and cooling systems run less frequently which saves both money and the planet! Investing in insulation may even boost home value!
Without insulation in place, heat typically escapes through walls (18-25% of loss), floors (12-14%) and the roof (30-35%). But with adequate insulation installed in a home, those numbers significantly decrease, saving energy bills by saving you money on energy consumption costs.
Wall insulation keeps heated or cooled air inside your home from escaping, thereby increasing energy efficiency all year long. Furthermore, wall insulation prevents outdoor temperatures from creeping in through windows, keeping your air at an ideal temperature all year long.
Furthermore, insulation reduces noise levels both from outside as well as between rooms – so insulation may reduce noise pollution levels in both ways!
Energy efficiency improvements don’t just reduce energy bills – they also lower greenhouse gas emissions and demand for non-renewable resources. To be most effective, energy efficiency must take an encompassing approach that takes into account building envelope, mechanical systems and both indoor and outdoor environment conditions.
Consider planting deciduous trees on the west side of your house to save energy by blocking infrared radiation that would heat it during summer.
Other ways to increase energy efficiency include installing ceiling fans, upgrading old appliances to ENERGY STAR models and regularly changing air filters; solar panels may even offset some of your electricity use to lower electric bills significantly; consult with a professional before making decisions that might change or upgrade your home’s energy performance.