In a time when we are faced with the challenges of climate change and securing a safe and habitable planet for future generations, being energy-efficient is more important than ever. Making your home energy-efficient is a small step towards the common goal of lower energy consumption. Many small steps combined can give incredible results. Consider what you, as an individual, can do to make your home energy-efficient. Do your part today to contribute towards a better world for future generations.
If doing your part towards creating a more sustainable way of life is not enough inspiration for you, keep in mind that you will save some money in the long run as well. Creating an energy-efficient home is one of the best ways to increase its market value.
Being energy-efficient requires you to become familiar with energy usage and where energy is wasted in your home. With some upgrades and your involvement, your home can become more eco-friendly.
Conducting an energy audit is a good place to start when trying to make your home more energy-efficient. This will tell you exactly which parts of your home are consuming energy efficiently. Also, you could locate energy losses that end up costing you when your monthly utility bill arrives. Energy audits can track energy use and factors that cannot be seen with the naked eye. They use complex methods to measure temperatures, airflow, and electricity consumption. If you are about to settle in a new home, having an energy audit can help you identify any problem areas that you are not aware of.
Energy audits can help detect where your home is losing or gaining heat, or whether your water heating system is working efficiently. Most importantly, it examines how all the various systems in your home work in conjunction with each other.
Small changes – a huge difference
Heating and cooling systems
One of the most common problem areas in homes is the heating and cooling system. This system consists of a network of pipes that carry hot or cold air from your furnace or air conditioning unit to each room in your home. The problem arises when this network of pipes begins to deteriorate. With this, you begin to experience heat or cold losses. It means the furnace or air-con unit has to use more energy to reach the desired temperature in each room. Inspecting the pipes and ensuring their proper insulation is one way you can save quite a bit of energy and money.
The pipe network is not the only element of your home heating and cooling system that needs maintenance, though. Your home air filter should be cleaned and changed regularly. A clogged filter will mean that your system will consume more energy. More energy is needed to push the air through and reach the desired temperature. This is just one of the reasons you should change your home filter regularly.
Another great way to save energy is to close the vents on any radiators in the rooms you do not use. There is no point in wasting energy on heating a room you do not spend any time in.
Windows, doors, and insulation
Having good quality windows, doors, and insulation around them is crucial when talking about energy-efficiency. There is no point in having a good and efficient heating system if you have cold air coming in around your doors and windows during the winter.
Installing a thermostat is also a good idea. It will cut off the heating or cooling to a room once the desired temperature is reached. You can also use it to regulate when the heating or cooling system switches on and off. This can save you money during periods when no one is at home.
Use your appliances correctly!
The most common household appliances such as dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, stoves, ovens, and refrigerators are commonly identified as high energy consumers. Sometimes though, the reason for this is not in the appliances themselves but rather in the way that we use them. These appliances have been around for so long that we often begin using new models without even reading the instructions that come with them. This means we might be using washing or drying programs that use more energy than is required for certain jobs.
Many homes have refrigerators placed next to the oven or stove. That means that we have an appliance intended to cool items located next to an appliance that generates heat. This will lead to your refrigerator using more energy to achieve the required temperature.
Computers also use a fair amount of electricity, especially if we leave them on all the time. Computer screens consume a lot of electricity. So, setting the screen to turn off after a few minutes of inactivity is a good idea. Setting the entire computer to sleep when it is not being used is an even better idea. Also, do not forget to unplug your laptop or phone chargers when you are not using them.
Some of us have older appliances that still function and see no reason to replace them. However, a more thorough analysis will show you that more often than not, the cost of replacing an old appliance with an energy-efficient one can be recovered purely through the savings on your electricity use in a rather short time. If you do decide to replace your older appliances, keep in mind that you do not have to throw them away. Zenith Moving NYC offers storage services that you can use to store these appliances until you find either a buyer for them or an environmentally friendly way to dispose of them.
Take advantage of what nature has to offer
One of the best ways to contribute to the energy-efficiency of your home is to take advantage of what nature has already given us. Consider planting trees around the perimeter of your house to provide shade and lower cooling costs in the summer months.
If you live in an area with geothermal groundwater sources, you could have heat pumps installed. Heat pumps can be used to heat and cool your home.
You could also install solar panels to produce electricity, which can be used to power part of your home.
The big picture
Remember that any effort you put into making your home more eco-friendly will have multiple positive effects in the long run. Increasing its market value is just one of the many benefits of creating an environmentally friendly home.
Look at the big picture and consider the effects any changes you make will have in the long run. Soon you will see that creating an energy-efficient home is not only an environmentally friendly idea but a financially sound investment as well.