5 tips to improve energy efficiency in your home:
We all spend more time indoors than we think. That’s why we always talk about making our homes healthy, paying attention to our indoor air quality and building it right the first time. As responsible homeowners, we should also be paying attention to our home’s energy consumption and energy efficiency. Reducing your energy consumption will bring your monthly energy bills down as well as help the environment. So how can you reduce energy usage at home?
1. MAKE THE SWITCH TO LED LIGHT BULBS
Think of all the lights you have in your home and how you can save money by switching over to LED bulbs!
In my opinion, the first and easiest place to start is by switching all of your old incandescent lightbulbs to LED lightbulbs. One standard incandescent lightbulb at 60 watts costs roughly $7.23 annually on your energy bills. It has a lifespan of less than one year. If you compare that to a 13-watt LED lightbulb which gives off just as much light, it costs only $1.56 annually per lightbulb. This means an annual savings of $5.67 on your energy bills per lightbulb.
Despite the initial cost discrepancy between an incandescent lightbulb and an LED one, the lifespan of the LED bulb is up to 20 years which means that the LED bulbs will end up paying for themselves. This is an easy way to reduce your energy costs.
2. EMBRACE SMART HOME DEVICES
Smart home technology has changed a lot over the years, and you can now monitor both your energy and water consumption.
I love this because in case you aren’t home, you will receive a notification about the leak as well as the capability to turn off the water main all from the app on your cell phone. This system grants you peace of mind and it has been designed to feel like you’re playing a video game, which I give them bonus points for! This technology helps us waste less and save money.
3. PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS SAVE YOU MONEY
How much are you spending to heat or cool your home every month? A programmable thermostat is an easy way to reduce your utility bill. You can set a schedule so that when you are away from home, you are not wasting energy.
4. TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT YOUR WINDOWS
Another area in your home that you should focus on for energy efficiency is your windows. Heat loss is prevalent in old and single paned windows which makes them remarkably inefficient. Most energy efficient windows are now made from low-E glass to help block out the sun’s rays which will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
A key player in energy efficient windows is the dual pane or triple pane technology. Believe it or not, modern windowpanes are now constructed with argon or krypton gas (no, not Superman’s kryptonite) in between the windowpanes which actually helps give the windows a higher R-value.
R-Value refers to a building material’s capacity to resist heat flow. With a higher R-Value comes a higher insulating power.
Energy efficient windows are a key player in saving energy and money. If you are unsure of whether your windows need replacing or not, I would suggest contacting a pro.
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR INSULATION
A thought I always like sharing for others to keep in mind is to insulate from the outside – in. This means that during a build or renovation, consider applying materials such as mineral wool to the exterior of your home to give it a greater R-value.
If you are not planning on redoing your entire exterior façade but want an upgrade, you should consider spray cork. Not only can you change the color and texture of the face of your house with this spray cork, but it also brings many additional energy efficiency benefits. It has anti-fungal properties, a class B fire rating, sound dampening properties, and a low thermal conductivity.