Previously we looked at a heaping handful of tips that were both quick and easy to help you curb your home’s energy consumption, and slash your utility bills. This time we’re looking at things that will take a bit more effort but over time will no doubt pay dividends.
Heating and Cooling
- Upgrade your HVAC unit to an energy efficient model that fits your needs.
- Repair your air ducts. Damage or obstructions to the thoroughways of your air system will put a wrench into the works of energy efficiency.
- If you live in a moderate climate (unlike the Arizona desert) you can invest in a heat pump system to better warm your home.
- Solar, solar, solar! With a solar power system addition to your energy supply, you can also utilize it to heat and cool your home. According to Energy.gov the costs “can be reduced to less than half the cost of heating a typical home.” That’s a huge saving!
- Low cost solution includes installing better shades, drapes, or blinds to deflect the heat.
- For the long term, look to upgrade your windows. Warm-climate windows keep heat out with special coatings.
- With appliances, the name of the game is Energy Star. Look for this designation on new models of refrigerators, washers, dishwashers, dryers, everything. While buying new might seem like a bad move now, looking at the average cost of operation overtime will lead to savings in the long run.
- When it comes to lighting, consider going in a way that lets you utilize more daylight. Things such as skylights, light tubes, clerestory windows all use daylight rather than electricity. All windows should be double paned of course.
The biggest shake up you could do to your home to get it energy efficient for the future is to completely overhaul it to using renewable resources. Resources such as wind turbines, or solar, can make you completely independent of ‘the grid.’ A high cost now that could, given the circumstances of your home, pay off fast. Depending on your state or city, you may also be able to utilize rebates and other monetary incentives to bring your home up to the future.
These are all just possibilities for how to ensure your home is more energy efficient. But energy efficiency doesn’t end at the front door! Don’t forget that your vehicles use fuel and no doubt has plenty of room to improve!