Upgrades to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Increasing the energy efficiency of your home is a great way to kill two birds with one stone: save money and reduce your carbon footprint in one fell swoop. In addition, you may find that your home is more comfortable, with higher quality insulation and better air quality. Upgrading your home for energy efficiency may be simpler than you think. Many of these ideas can be done without hiring a pro.
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Check out these tips to make your home more energy efficient.
Upgrade Your Appliances
If you are not already planning to update your appliances, this may be more of an investment than you are ready to make right away. However, when they time comes to replace any appliances in the home, focus on choosing energy efficient machines. New appliances will make a significant difference for both your water and energy usage.
Add a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat can be added to the home for a relatively small investment, and in most cases it is something you can do yourself. This will increase the energy efficiency of your home in a few ways, including:
- Being remotely programmable, so you can change the temperature from afar shortly before returning home rather than cooling or heating the home all day or during a weekend you are away.
- By learning the preferences of your household, the smart thermostat will maximize the efficiency of the system to keep the temperature where it knows you want it to be.
Most people find that the smart thermostat pays for itself within a year or two of installing, and it also increases the resale value of your home.
Install Solar Panels
This will almost certainly require the hiring of professionals, and means either a significant upfront investment or signing on to a lease. If you decide to go for a lease option, make sure to shop around and read the fine print of your contract to be sure that the terms match your plans for how long you hope to live in and/or own the home.
As long as you can find a financing plan that works well for you, installing solar panels is one of the energy efficiency upgrades that will provide the most impact. Many people find that adding solar panels to their home can completely eliminate their need to purchase electricity from a local utility company. To get the most out of your solar panel investment, pair this upgrade with new windows and a well sealed, well insulated home.
If your home is more than a couple decades old, chances are you are losing a lot of your energy efficiency potential through the windows. Investing in an upgrade to double paned, high efficiency windows will make a massive impact on your home's energy efficiency.
Have Your Home Professionally Air Sealed
Consider hiring a company to professionals seal your home. Air flow in and out of the home should be controlled, especially in a climate with extreme summer or winter temperatures. An unsealed home will let out about 30% of the heat generated by your HVAC system, which means the system must work harder at all times. This of course costs you more money, and is a waste of resources.
Update the Insulation
Even if your home was well insulated when it was built or renovated, the insulation may have degraded over time. Updating the insulation is essential to maximize the investment you have made in sealing the home, upgrading your windows, and paying to heat or cool it. Keep in mind that this is a project usually best left to the pros.
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