The Art of Efficiency: What Do Energy Efficient Homes Have in Common?

Are you worried that your home is costing you more money to run than it really needs to? Or are you building or renovating a home and are looking to cut down on energy costs?

Well, you’re probably asking yourself what energy efficient homes have that yours doesn’t. You look at your friend’s home and it looks more or less the same as yours. But your neighbor says he or she pays a lot less in bills.

Why is that?

We are going to answer that question for you by giving you some top tips on home energy solutions.

1. Make Use of Natural Light

When you think about building an energy-efficient home, you probably think of installing solar and getting energy-efficient appliances, right? Well, those things are important, but not as important as this.

Sunlight is incredibly important in warming your home and cutting down on the cost of heating. If your home has good access to natural light, you can not use the heater for longer and use it on a lower setting when you do need it.

But how do you use natural sunlight

It’s all about design. Here are some tips:

  1. Make sure you have large windows on the side of your home that receives the most sunlight
  2. Place your most commonly used rooms (living room etc.) on the side of your home that receives the most sunlight
  3. Avoid building near sunlight obstructors like highrise buildings and trees

2. Solar, Solar, Solar

Of course, there’s more than one way to use sunlight. Solar panels are one of the most efficient ways to save on home energy consumption.

Depending on the weather where you live and the amount of electricity you consume, a good solar system can cut your power bills by about 80%. Usually, you will still need to pay a little for gas and electricity to boost your hot water system when the weather is bad.

But you probably have worries about the cost of solar. But solar installation cost is not as high as most people think it is.

Also, installing solar power can actually help you earn money in the long run. This is because you can actually make money by selling electricity back to the energy grid. Also, you can claim a tax credit from the government when you install your system.

On top of all of this, it has been shown that installing solar will significantly improve the value of your home. This is good if you are looking to sell or what to refinance your mortgage.

3. Insulation that Works

If you’re wondering how to save energy at home, you should get up into your attic and have a look at your attic. You might have an energy-efficient HVAC system, but if your insulation isn’t working properly, the HVAC system will have to work twice as hard.

When looking for insulation, look for an installer who will do an encapsulation job. This means that your home will be sealed up so that warm or cool air can’t escape. This also has extra benefits of purifying the air in your home and cutting down on mold.

4. The Right Appliances

When it comes down to it, energy-efficient homes will always have the right appliances. There is no getting around this.

This primarily means:

  • Washing machines
  • Dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Heaters
  • Air conditioners
  • Hot water heaters

All of these appliances have the potential to make or break your power bill. Look out for appliances with good energy star ratings before you buy them.

Also, make sure you check out the differences between the peak and off-peak tariffs for energy use. You may find that switching your schedule and doing your washing at a different time may make a big difference.

5. Heating and Cooling

Depending on where you live, heating and cooling may be the single biggest energy expense for your home. That means that even small changes in your heating and cooling consumption will have a big impact on your power bill.

The best way to reduce these costs is to go for smart heating and cooling systems. This doesn’t mean they need to be solar-powered. But, at the very least, they should be able to regulate themselves with integrated thermostats. This is going to mean they aren’t working harder than they need to in heating or cooling your house beyond what is comfortable.

6. Building and Design Materials

The last big thing you want to think about is what materials you are building your home with. If your home is already built, you might not be in a position to install energy-efficient sidings or better insulation in your drywall.

But, you can look into optimizing other aspects of your home, such as the flooring you use or the tiling on your roof. Both of these aspects of home design can be geared towards energy efficiency. If you make a few tweaks, the effect will compound and have a larger impact on your energy bill.

Energy-Efficient Homes Don’t Have to Be Expensive

If you’ve been looking at all the energy-efficient homes in your area, you might have been thinking to yourself that you just can’t afford it. But, while some energy-saving solutions can be expensive, there are always ways to save energy at home without a big price tag.

Get creative and think about doing some DIY. Just by rearranging your rooms and enlarging your windows, your home will already be much more energy-efficient.

Any costs that you have in making your home energy efficient are always going to be offset by the saving you make on your power bill. Plus, you always have to remember that energy-efficient upgrades to your home are going to boost its value.

So, get creative with your home energy solutions and don’t think an efficient home is out of your reach!

If you’ve found this information useful, why not check out some of our other great articles on home improvement and environmental technology?

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