Reduce your energy wastage with these easy steps and save money!
When considering making home improvements of any kind, the number-one question on most homeowners’ minds is, “Will this help me save money” and reduce my energy consumption. We all know that energy bills are amongst the largest expense of any household taking up to 60% of most household’s budgets but during a refurbishment you can take action to help reduce these for the future.
Here we present six easy steps:
HEATING AND COOLING
Climate control is one of the largest home energy users. A programmable thermostat is a simple starting point and can save up to one-third of heating and cooling costs. Cutting-edge models can even learn your family’s behaviours and tweak usage for maximum savings. Additional ways to save energy include sealing leaky ducts, cleaning or changing air filters regularly and replacing your furnace or air conditioner with an energy-efficient model, particularly if your heating and cooling systems are more than 15 years old. Figures show that investing in a new cooling or heating system could cut down your energy bills by up to 20% right away, and even more with energy-efficient units!
INVEST IN SOLAR PANELS
Solar panels can cost a pretty penny, but they’re a great way to heat and cool your home using alternative energy. With government tax benefits, it’s becoming easier for homeowners to make the switch to solar energy, one step at a time. If you budget can’t stretch to a full house installation start small, or instance, you could replace your outdoor lighting with solar lights, or get a solar water heater installed on the roof to cut down heating costs.
Studies show that only 20% of homes built before 1980 were well-insulated so depending on when your home was built, adding insulation in the attic and walls can be one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste. Not only does better insulation reduce energy loss and improve comfort, it’s an upgrade that generally adds to the value of your home with an estimated 95% return on your investment.
This may sound like an obvious solution but high-performance windows not only lower heating and cooling bills, they also reduce heat gain during warmer months and add a layer of insulation when you need to keep the heat inside.
Triple-pane, Low-E insulated frame windows can save 33% of the heating cost for a typical home in cooler climates, and in hotter environments, double-pane, low solar-gain windows can reduce cooling costs by up to 32%. As an added layer of insulation add heavy curtains or drapes over windows and doors, to keep the sun’s heat out during the summer and trap warm air inside when the weather cools off.
Plus it will also add a stunning focal point to your interiors
How often do you leave a light on in a room even when it’s not in use? Surprisingly the average house dedicates 5-10% of its energy budget to lighting. To cut your use, switch to LED lights, turn off unneeded lights and, where possible, use natural light. Other measures, like relying on task lights and installing motion detectors, can help further limit your lighting-related energy usage
This is often an area overlooked but the way trees and bushes are positioned near our homes actually helps reduce energy use. Trees positioned to reduce summer sun and winter wind can reduce a household’s energy use by 25% or more. In summer, trees can lower air temperature as much as 9 F through shading and evapotranspiration. In winter, a well-designed landscape can cut heating bills by about one-third.