By taking cost-effective steps to lower building loads and then installing appliances that are of the proper size to handle the lower loads, you can save money and boost performance. Oversizing generally lowers performance and raises expenses.
The best way to increase your home’s energy efficiency is to start with the envelope of your house, which includes the doors, windows, and walls. Next, make systems like lighting, heating, cooling, and appliances more energy-efficient. Finally, take into account clean energy production methods like solar or geothermal.
Good landscaping, especially deciduous trees, can save energy if your home is older with relatively weak insulation and windows, especially if they are situated on the west side of the building. Infrared radiation would take the chill off the house in the summer, but in the winter, the bare branches allow this heat to pass through. Of course, the impact is significantly reduced if your home has excellent insulation and energy-efficient windows because the building shell itself already prevents practically all heat gain.
Upgrade Old, Leaky Windows
It could be time to replace old, leaky windows at your home with new, energy-efficient ones. The cost of replacing windows solely to save energy is nearly never worthwhile. EnergyStar.gov states that replacing windows can reduce costs, however replacing single-glazed windows would result in the biggest savings. The update would be affordable and would also make you more comfortable. Energy-efficient windows are also easy to be installed so you do not have to worry about remodeling your walls in case you have decided to replace your old windows because not much construction will be done.
Get Your Walls Insulated
Effective insulation reduces the rate at which heat is lost from the home during the winter or gained during the summer, requiring less energy to cool or heat your home. Blown-in insulation can significantly increase your comfort and save you enough money on energy if your home lacks wall insulation and has relatively continuous wall cavities like typical stud walls. Adding insulation to already insulated walls rarely pays. If you have an unfinished attic, it usually pays to improve the insulation.
The knowledge of your contractor is more crucial than the type of insulation you select. Fiberglass, cellulose, and the majority of foam insulation materials, when put correctly, can all lessen the conduction of heat in the finished wall system. In principle, contractors utilize a thermal imager in the course of or following the installation to search for voids.
Dump Incandescent Lights and Use CFLs
Three-quarters less electricity is required by Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) than by incandescent bulbs. The majority of people do not consider the fact that running a lightbulb requires significantly more electricity. A new CFL costs approximately $2 or $3, but it has a lifespan of 10,000 hours and consumes just around 27 watts to produce light comparable to an incandescent bulb that is 100 watts. It costs roughly $25 overall because it consumes about $22 in energy over the course of its lifetime. It takes ten 100-watt incandescent bulbs, which cost $5 to purchase but only last 1,000 hours for a dollar, to last 10,000 hours. You will be using 1,000 kW of energy during those 10,000 hours, which, at the national average price, will be around $80. Therefore, the CFL’s lighting cost is less than a third of what an incandescent bulb would be. Because usage influences how much time it spends to recoup the expenditure, bulbs that are 60 to 100 watts used for several hours a day are the best candidates for replacement.
Unplug Old Refrigerators
Avoid the urge to store party goods and beverages in the old refrigerator as a backup. You’ll pay more for the extra storage space: add an extra $50 to $150 in electricity costs a year to keep that old refrigerator running. In comparison, considering the efficiency of a refrigerator has increased so much over the past three decades, a new fridge may only cost $30 to $60 per year to operate, especially if it is Energy Star-rated. Evaluate the amount of refrigeration you actually need in these conditions. The greatest tip is to keep your refrigerator to one and make sure it is the right size for your needs.
Look for Energy Professionals to Audit
Energy raters analyze your home using specialist equipment and expertise, and they make recommendations for the most economical ways to increase its convenience and efficiency including the optimum order in which to implement those measures to benefit from interactions. The rater may also offer an unbiased opinion of the caliber of the job performed by the contractors. Look for RESNET-accredited raters.