When you research energy-efficient home upgrades, you are often saturated with solar panel installation information that costs several thousand dollars. Although solar energy is a viable change for the entire home, there are other alternatives that are less expensive to implement. Consider your home’s features to integrate these improvements for lower energy bills and increased environmental awareness.
Perhaps one of the most creative home improvements you can make is adding trees and shrubs for a better indoor climate. For example, plant deciduous trees on the south side of your property. In the winter, they allow low-angle sunlight to warm the home, but block the hot sun with dense foliage during the summer. Place tall shrubs or evergreen trees on the north side of the property to block northerly winds in the winter. You’ll use your HVAC system less, saving substantial money during the year.
Grab a caulk gun and seal up any cracks or holes along your home’s exterior. Walk around your home, filling any cracks with the caulk. Repeat this process once every season to keep any cracks from becoming larger. These openings allow air to draft through the home, creating high energy loss. Even consider weatherstripping around doors and windows. Although the home doesn’t need to be airtight, you’ll save money on cooling and heating costs when you keep the conditioned air inside the house.
Ranging from $3 to $15 for each bulb, changing your old lighting to compact fluorescent light bulbs is a fast way to save on electricity. CFLs pull very little current, illuminating a room while using less energy. You can even look into LED lighting that has comparable energy savings. Because these bulbs last longer than their older technology relatives, you can save up to $135 during that one bulb’s lifetime. Electricity charges tend to be one of the most expensive bills in the household.
Saving you nearly $145 each year, depending on use, low-flow water fixtures are a conservationist’s dream. Each faucet and shower head just requires a fixture replacement, a relatively simple project at $20 each. You’ll still have ample water for washing dishes, for instance, but without a lot of water waste. Start by replacing one fixture in the home at a time to see the difference in the water bill.
If you’ve ever walked into a home during the summer and felt chills, their air conditioning thermostat was set too high. Change your thermostat to a programmable type, saving you around $150 each year. Set it to exactly 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home and even higher when you leave. With a digital format to follow, the HVAC system runs smoothly with less stress to the internal parts.
- Strategic Landscaping
- Sealing The Home
- Change Those Bulbs
- New Water Fixtures
- Update The Thermostat
Visit your local home improvement store to find most of the energy-efficient tools necessary to upgrade your home. Start with a small project and slowly graduate to larger changes. You’ll see a significant difference when it comes to comfort and energy cost.
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