Slash Your Energy Bills One Room at a Time!
A home that’s energy efficient is easier on the environment and your budget. While energy efficient "green" home design is all the rage for new construction, it’s definitely not too late for existing structures to get an eco-friendly overhaul. And it’s not as hard as you may think to make the kinds of changes that can significantly reduce your family’s energy consumption, lower your utility bills and minimize your impact on the environment.
To get the most out of your next energy efficient home remodeling project, it’s important to focus on three key goals: reduce your total energy consumption, use energy to its fullest potential, and cut down on the waste your energy produces. Progress in any of these areas is fantastic, but talk to your contractor about ways to combine all three for the most energy efficient impact.
In the meantime, these simple energy efficiency tips can help you make a difference immediately if a big construction project isn’t in your near future.
Energy Efficient Kitchens:
As one of the most heavily used areas in your home, the kitchen is often the place where you consume the most energy. If the ice in your freezer is more than a 1/2 centimeter thick, defrost it. Vacuum your refrigerator condenser coil frequently; this can dramatically improve your appliance’s performance and energy efficiency. Be sure all the seals on your fridge, freezer, and oven doors are tight. Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load.
Energy Efficient Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms:
Any room in your home that uses hot water is a good place to start to improve energy efficiency. Leaky taps can waste much more water than you think over time, so tighten loose connections and fix leaks as soon as possible. Take it easy on your dryer; load it only as full as its maximum capacity will allow and try to run it only when you need to. Be sure to clean the lint trap after every use, too.
Energy Efficient Basements:
Make sure your hot water pipes are well insulated to ensure the fuel that heats your water isn’t wasted. Set your hot water heater no higher than 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider upgrading your basement insulation, too, which can help keep more heat inside your home during cold months and improve energy efficiency.
Energy Efficient Bedrooms and Living Rooms:
The best way to improve energy efficiency in these areas is to replace your windows and add insulation. But if these upgrades just aren’t in your budget, you may want to do some research on zoned heating and cooling to see if it’s a good fit for your home. Zoned systems let you set temperatures to match use, turning on the furnace or air conditioner in common living spaces when everyone is home and off in bedrooms when your house is empty during the day. Solar screens, thermal curtains, and tinting film are just a few of the window treatment options that can help reduce stress on your home’s heating and cooling system.
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