Making your home more energy efficient has two results: The first is that it saves you a great deal of money. Just replacing the vinyl siding on your home can actually prevent air loss and save you hundreds in heating and cooling bills. The other benefit is that it is better for the environment. Changing your light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs can save the environment about 0.2 tons of CO2 per year!
Here are 10 year-round tips to keep your home energy efficient:
Did you know that much of your heating and cooling can escape through old windows? Not only does heating escape around the outside of poorly sealed windows but it will actually go through thin glass panes. Replacing your windows with well-sealed, double pane glass can save you hundreds in heating bills each year!
As stated above, your siding is actually an important part of keeping your home energy efficient. Old siding will allow hot and cool air to slip between the cracks and the pores in the material. Replacing your old siding with new, vinyl siding will seal your house so that warm or cool air stays in and hot or cold air stays out.
The materials you use are important. Some materials are more energy efficient than others. For example, low energy glass is more thermal because it uses built in layers to reflect the sun away from your home, vinyl siding helps to seal heat in more efficiently. Organic insulators such as bamboo or cotton fibers are an efficient and naturally economic way to insulate your home.
Most people don’t even think about their garage when they are optimizing the energy efficiency of their home. However, up to 40% of your heating and cooling can escape through your garage. Make sure that your garage doors are of a high quality, insulated material and that the entrance to your home is sealed when you are not using the garage.
Lighting matters. Did you know that you can save up to 70% of the energy you use on lighting by replacing the bulbs? While many green and energy efficient lights aren’t quite as bright as normal lights, they are just as effective and can save you and the environment a lot of hassle.
6. Clean is Green
Over time your house will become dirty and collect dust. When dust collects in your air vents and heating/ cooling vents it will cause the machines to work harder. This will mean that you will have to pay more for fewer results. Keep vents, air passages and the grill workings on air conditioners and refrigerators clean and dust free.
7. Seal Gaps
Sometimes homes have gaps, cracks and places where air can escape. Escaping air translates into a higher energy bill. Check around the bottom of walls, along doors and along installed windows and seal any cracks you might find. A good idea is to use a quality, waterproof sealant around all doors and windows to prevent both air and moisture from entering your home.
8. Energy Efficient Appliances
Energy Efficient Appliances might initially cost more but they can save you a lot of money over time. You can find energy efficient appliances by either star markings or an A+ marking. Most appliances are required by law to list the energy they use each year so it’s pretty easy to compare. If you have an old refrigerator, you could save several hundred dollars per year on your energy bill by simply switching to a more efficient refrigerator.
9. Sun Heating
The sun can heat and cool your home. Try checking which windows in your home are exposed to the sun during different times of the day. If you want your home to remain cool, keep blinds or heavy curtains closed over the windows, if you want your home to be warm, open the curtains and allow the sun to heat the glass.
10. Efficient Doors
An astounding amount of hot and cool air can escape through your doors even when they are closed. If your doors do not fit properly you could be losing as much as 20% of your heating and cooling through your closed door. Replacing old doors with energy efficient, sealed doors can save your home a great deal of energy.
If you need help making your home more energy efficient, Nationwide Window and Siding can help with your replacement windows, doors, vinyl siding, roofing and more. Contact us today for a free home improvement estimate!