Maintaining an energy efficient home offers a variety of benefits such as the opportunity to leave behind a smaller carbon footprint and the ability to save some money on your monthly electricity bills. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on home remodeling projects in order to create an energy efficient living space. Here are five cost effective home updates you can make that will help you save money throughout the year and make you feel good about the impact you have on your surroundings:
Insulation is an important part of reducing the energy your home uses on any given day. A properly insulated home reduces the need for air conditioning and heating throughout the year, and therefore reduces the amount of electricity your home uses to maintain optimal indoor temperatures. In addition to having a professional use spray foam insulation to protect the frame, attic, crawl space, and basement of your home, you can use spray foam insulation to seal:
- Each of the window frames of your home.
- The frames of all the doors leading to the exterior of the home.
- The entrance points where your water pipes lead into the home.
It's also a good idea to use spray foam insulation around the electrical outlets, heating and air conditioning vents, and even the baseboards within your home.
Install a Few Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans consistently circulate the air which makes the space feel cooler even though the temperatures aren't necessarily dropping. Despite the lack in temperature reduction, ceiling fans allow you to turn your thermometer up a bit during the summer so your air conditioner doesn't have to work so hard. Run your ceiling fans counterclockwise during hot days to create an effective breeze in the middle of the room. Run the fans clockwise on cold days to mix the cold and warm air in the space together, naturally creating a warmer room.
Dress up the Windows
Windows that are not well protected can let in lots of unwanted air, allergens, and moisture which quickly leads to excess mold and mildew buildup. All of these issues drain energy and cost extra money in order to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. You can dress your windows up to enhance their performance with the help of these tips and tricks:
- Install insulation film on the interior of each window to repel moisture and increase energy efficiency.
- Use honeycomb cellular shades for optimal insulation and added privacy.
- Put insulation snakes along the bottoms of the windows when they are not in use.
These insulation options come in a variety of colors and styles which makes it easy to maintain your preferred room designs and themes.
Plant a New Tree or Two
Mature trees in your yard can increase your home's value by about 10 percent, and also reduce your energy consumption throughout the year by keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Plant trees near windows that get direct sunlight and in front of the exterior HVAC equipment. Deciduous trees are the best option because their leaves protect your home from the sun during summer months, but during cold months the leaves fall off, allowing the sun to naturally warm your home.
Make Use of Solar Energy
You can take advantage of solar energy and reduce your monthly energy bills without spending an arm and a leg just by replacing a few things around your home. Some appliances and accessories that come with solar power solutions include:
- Hot water heaters.
- Space heaters.
- Call phone chargers.
Each solar-powered purchase can be expected to pay for itself, and at the same time reduce your carbon footprint, for decades to come.
If you can implement just one of these options, go for the insulation – it not only saves energy and money, but it also protects your home from wear and tear which minimizes the need for repairs as time goes on.