Whether you desire to help the environmental sustainability of homes or just to save what you can now, an energy efficient house is a smart choice.
Start out by finding your energy score through a series of questions and assessments. Once you have a baseline you can see the savings mount.
Concerned it will all be a little overwhelming? Rest easy, the following explains everything you need to know to swap out the old and pocket the savings.
Energy Efficient House Essentials
Getting started on an energy efficient home design now leaves you room to grow and improve over time. You don’t need to strip out the whole house and start over. Just keep in mind these ideas as you renew and replace things in the house and you will rake in the savings.
Nothing like saving enough in heating and cooling in a year to pay for a little travel abroad.
Insulation and Seals
Keeping the right air in the house and the wrong kind out forms the cornerstone of energy efficient home construction.
Of course, you know that insulation plays an important role in maintaining the internal environment of the house. You also know that cold air settles and hot air rises. This is why you generally have attic insulation but don’t have it in the basement.
What you might be less aware of are the ratings of insulation. Not all materials work in all areas.
Depending on the climate types and zone your home sits in, the wrong insulation can waste instead of saving.
Advances in material composition and install techniques improve insulation. Consider asking a heating professional on recommendations for your area and your current install.
Air travels through a typical home in a set way. You might think making the house airtight would provide the best savings. Air is one of those things you want a fresh supply and constant supply of for home and health.
So, seals aren’t about blocking all air but keeping the air on the right track. A properly maintained HVAC system will bring in the right amount of air and let the air circulate as intended. Leaks in the ducting and seals around window and doors can interrupt that.
Too much air in the home in the winter means cool spots and a furnace that works overtime.
Note very efficient.
In the summer too, little air flow from clogged eaves and filters means the AC can’t push enough cold air to keep the temperature down.
Check for air tightness and caulk and weatherstrip windows and doors. Ensure that areas such as the dryer and kitchen exhaust are tight and not clogged.
Manufacturers of appliances want to make the best product they can. This contributes to the constant change of new models and updates to appliances they roll out each year. The better mousetrap, as it were, provides the best services at the lowest energy cost.
Getting new appliances with updated energy savings measures benefits you in multiple ways.
The first comes from the savings of power to run the appliance itself. The second manifests in the longevity of the appliances.
The more energy efficient appliances simply operate at a lower power threshold. This means less wear and tear which means they last longer and need to be replaced less often.
Older appliances expose a household to less reliable and potentially toxic chemicals. These chemicals can be used in the insulation of items like fridges, microwaves, and dryers.
Best yet, retro styles of many appliances exist so the desired look doesn’t have to interfere with the desired efficiency.
Doors and Windows
The most energy efficient homes utilize doors and windows that aid in the work. Instead of being worried about applying workaround and fixes to keep the seals on a leaky door might get a new door. Modern doors utilize materials that resist swelling and constriction.
We’ve also figured out how to make a door jamb that settles well and doesn’t leave a gap under the door requiring foam padding.
That said, if you don’t want to replace every door in the house, everything just mentioned can save time an and energy when applied.
Windows need to be thick enough to prevent air from slipping through. Older windows can be too thin and double paned windows can become offset, allowing air to flow freely.
Heating and Cooling
The single biggest loss of energy for most homes comes from the water heater. These devices have a double trouble combination of an appliance that works too hard and exposes the house to outside forces.
Keep the temperature on a water heater at a reasonable level, below 112. This helps it heat more efficiently and also reduce the risk of scorching and scalding house dwellers.
A new water heater can be much more efficient. Newer models take advantage of better conducting materials to keep the heat in. This also prevents leaks into the surrounding air.
Get your water heater checked periodically in general. This helps spot leaks and prevent issues with carbon monoxide and methane. You don’t want those leaking into the water or the surrounding house.
Getting your heating and cooling unit serviced will improve efficiency. This efficiency applies to the mechanical parts and the airflow of the home.
The largest loss of efficiency for an HVAC system comes from dirty filters. Getting filters cleaned or replaced is a low-cost alternative to replacing the whole system (which can blow if clogged too much for too long).
More Home Tips
Don’t stop at just having an energy efficient house. We have ideas for every room and everyone in the home. Check out what else we offer on our home tips blog.
You don’t have to toil in the dark, get it right the first time with right information from the start.