Whether it’s to save money or save the environment, you might be thinking about making your home more energy efficient. There are tons of ways to do so, whatever your budget!
Read our tips, below, to learn how to maximize your home’s energy efficiency.
Even small steps toward energy efficiency can, in the long run, make a big difference in the heating and cooling costs and carbon footprint of your home. Consider doing the following inexpensive (or even free!) fixes:
Use your appliances efficiently.
If updating your appliances is out of your budget at the moment, consider how you can make your current appliances as efficient as possible. For example, set your refrigerator’s temperature to the “energy efficient” setting, if it has one. You can also set your water heater to warm, 140 degrees. Try to do full loads of laundry or dishes at a time, so you don’t waste water. Unplug certain appliances, like the toaster or coffeemaker, when they’re not in use. And when you go on vacation, unplug all your electronics.
Switch light bulbs.
Instead of using incandescent, use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Though these bulbs cost more initially, they last 10 times longer and pay for themselves in the cost savings.
Open and close the blinds.
You’d be surprised how much of an impact the amount of sunlight filtering through your windows can have on your home’s efficiency. In the summer, to help keep your home cool, close your blinds; in the winter, to help keep your home warm, open them.
Plant a tree.
Planting a tree by your house, particularly if the tree is on the west side, will provide shade and help keep your home cool in the summer. In the winter, without the leaves, the sunlight will be able to enter and warm your home
Major updates will have a significant impact on your home’s energy efficiency. Because the updates below cost more up front, it’s a good idea to save these updates for the home you plan to live in for years to come. Making these changes will give you a better return on investment—and often improve your quality of life—in the long run.
If you’re ready to make some significant updates to your home, consider the following changes:
Upgrade your appliances.
Today’s appliances are much more efficient (and often a lot more attractive) than those from decades past. Look for appliances with an Energy Star logo: they have been tested and rated to exceed the government’s minimum standards for energy efficiency.
Fix your furnace.
Furnaces that were installed before the early 1990s are much less efficient than later models (often wasting up to 30 percent of the fuel they consume). You can find out from your heating technician the efficiency of your furnace and whether or not you should replace it.
Insulate your walls and attic.
If they aren’t already, your walls and attic should be well insulated. Insulation will help prevent air from passing in and out of your home, keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Working with a good contractor is key: it’s crucial that the insulation is properly installed in order for it to do its job.
Replace old, single-pane windows.
Single-pane windows are the least efficient windows available. If you own an older home, you may have this type of window: in decades past, single-pane windows were the only option. Today’s double-pane and triple-pane windows are much more efficient (between 25 and 50 percent better, depending on your current windows and their replacements). Double-pane and triple-pane windows have a layer (or two) of insulating gas in between each pane. You can also purchase new windows with an added tint to filter harmful UV radiation and/or let in less sunlight.
We hope these tips were helpful! Jack’s Glass is here to help make Kentucky homes more efficient, functional, and beautiful. If you have questions about replacing your old windows with new, more efficient windows, call our glass experts today.