Upgrading your home is always an expense, but what if your upgrades were saving you money? Enhancing your home’s energy efficient features is a great way to make it a more livable space while making a smaller impact on the environment and even better your bank account!
It is estimated that the average American homeowner spends about $2,000 a year on energy for heating, cooling and other power needs in their home. Often there are many inefficiencies caused by poor operating systems and other energy drains that may account for as much as 10-20 percent of wasted money per a year.
Whether your motivation is too reduce your home energy expenses or have a more earth-conscious lifestyle there are many ways you can make a significant impact on your home’s energy efficiency.
Faulty seals and cracks can be responsible up to 20 percent of air infiltration into or out of the home. If a window replacement isn’t in your budget there are still other options to prevent energy inefficiency. Adding storm windows can reduce the amount of heat loss in your home through windows by as much as 25-50 percent. Caulking and adding weather stripping around the windows can also make a noticeable difference, as can window coverings such as blinds and drapes.
Like windows, doors especially their perimeters are common sources of energy loss. Poor insulation due to faulty installation or wear over time can contribute to energy loss. Aside from ensuring that your doors are properly insulated and sealed, the door itself can make a very big difference. A foam insulted door offers greater energy conservation than a wooden door would. Remember that proper sealing and installation applies to all access points including the garage door.
The ceiling is often an overlooked home element, but one that is gathering more attention quickly. It is an ideal space to integrate energy-efficient features such as skylights. Skylights engage all senses while providing balanced, natural light that reduces reliance on powered light and ventilation fixtures. In addition, skylights can work in concert with vertical windows to create the “chimney effect” where cool, fresh air enters through vertical windows and warm, stale air escapes from the skylights, cooling your home without using electricity.
Climate control can account for as much as half of the average home’s annual energy costs. An outdated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, or a system that isn’t big enough or strong enough for your home’s footprint, will draw more energy than necessary to maintain a desirable temperature. Regular service can help keep systems operating smoothly, but eventually all HVAC systems need replacing.