Our homes use an extremely high amount of energy from heating and cooling to laundry machines, and it’s important to consider the impact that has on our environment and our wallets. There are several options available to decrease the amount of energy we use within our households that not only make economic and environmental sense, but also add value to our property. Let’s discuss how our energy use impacts the world and our finances, and consider some energy efficient home improvements.
The Impact of Residential Energy Use
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 55% of all energy used in buildings in the U.S. is attributed to households. 50% of that energy goes towards heating and cooling. This massive amount of energy usage has major impacts on both the environment due to carbon monoxide emissions, and homeowners’ wallets due to high bills.
Nearly half of an average energy bill goes towards heating, and this number can easily be decreased with energy efficient home improvements. Outdated appliances and inefficient home designs are responsible for elevated energy usage, especially during very hot or cold months. It’s important to understand how to decrease your personal energy usage to benefit yourself and the planet.
Energy Efficient Home Improvements
Making changes to your household can vastly improve your home’s efficiency adding value to the home as well as minimizing your environmental impact. The long-term effects of these renovations are worth the investment and a trusted general contractor can help you decide which options are best for your home.
Heating and Cooling
As previously mentioned, heating and cooling are responsible for a large portion of energy usage and bill costs. These changes can decrease this portion considerably.
Ceiling Fans—In order to improve airflow throughout your home, install ceiling fans in frequently used spaces. During the summer, run the fans counterclockwise to push cool air downward, and during the winter set them back to clockwise. These fans will help air flow more efficiently and decrease the amount of A/C and heating you’ll need.
Air Leaks—Old windows and doors can let in a lot of unwanted hot and cold air. Upgrading to more efficient and well-sealed doors and windows will prevent these leaks from occurring. You should also have a general contractor perform an inspection of your home in order to locate any other potential leakage spots so that they can be repaired. This will drastically change your home’s ability to maintain a comfortable temperature without racking up the electricity bill.
Insulation—In addition to windows and doors, the attic and basement of your home are potential weak spots. Have a contractor install high quality insulation in the walls and ceilings on these spaces in order to prevent air from the outside seeping into the household.
Efficient Thermostats—Your home does not need constant A/C or heat to maintain a comfortable temperature. In order to prevent wasteful usage of A/C and heating, install an upgraded thermostat that can be programmed to only run the air when it’s necessary. This will cut down on usage by creating an effective cycle of heating and cooling that brings down costs significantly compared to leaving the system running all day.
Appliances and Lighting
In addition to heating and cooling, your appliances and lighting make up a significant portion of energy usage. Let’s discuss which appliances use the most energy and why it’s smart to swap them out.
New Lighting—Upgrading to energy efficient lightbulbs and installing lighting fixtures in effective locations will brighten your home while bringing down energy usage. You can even choose from stylish and modern lighting designs.
Washers and Dryers—If your current laundry machines are out of date, they could be guzzling a significant amount of energy. Using Energy Star approved machines will bring down costs and energy usage as well as clean your clothing more effectively.
Dishwasher—A new dishwasher will upgrade both the look of your kitchen and its efficiency. Not only will it use less energy, it will use less water decreasing another bill and lessening its impact on the environment.
Energy Saving Tips
In addition to making home renovations, there are simple steps you can take to increase your home’s efficiency.
Window Treatments—Choose new blinds and curtains that are able to deflect hot summer sunlight. Be sure to keep these treatments closed during hot months and open during cold ones in order to let the sunlight naturally heat your home.
Airflow—Keep doors of infrequently used rooms closed in order to keep the air flowing through inhabited areas of the house. In contrast, keep doors of bedrooms and bathrooms open so the air can move freely through them ensuring these spaces are kept at a comfortable temperature.
Fans—Utilize exhaust fans to suck out steam in the kitchen from cooking and in the bathrooms from showers. This will significantly reduce excess heat.
Energy Efficient Home Improvements by Mancill Builders
Mancill Builders has proudly served Delaware County for over four decades, providing constant communication and impeccable results to our clients. We can execute any number of energy efficient home improvements you’d like for your home and we’ll be there for you at every step of the process. Our experts will provide a free consultation to get you started, so don’t hesitate—contact Mancill Builders today!