There are countless ways of improving energy efficiency in your home. Repairs translate to better appliance performance. Upgrading to solar-powered devices is another one. Installing fixtures that preserve heat is still another method. Whatever route you take, focusing on energy efficiency during a home improvement project will always be beneficial to your family and community as well.
Here are some tips on how to go about it.
Appliances and Devices Must Work For You, Not Against You
Repair Major Home Appliances
A malfunctioning home appliance may translate to higher energy consumption and a higher electric bill. Always have appliances checked and repaired. For instance, if your refrigerator has an overworked motor or a damaged compressor, chances are, it will continue to struggle to keep the air in the unit as cold as possible. If you want to save on electricity, do not ignore these signs. Arrest the issue right away by looking for a refrigerator repair Frisco service center. They have experts who can help diagnose problems and replace broken parts if necessary.
Your refrigerator does not have to set on high. Set the control near the 37-degree temperature. At this level, you will save some energy without spoiling food in the ref. Gaskets are supposed to keep all the cold air inside the ref and the freezer compartments. Inspect if it is still doing its job optimally.
Sometimes even the less noticed fixture in your home needs attention too. Take the case of your radiator. When it is cold, it might be that the pump has stopped working, or the thermostat or timer is faulty. Always check if both are correctly set. Now, after checking everything (including wiring connections) and the issue persists, it is time to ask the help of a repairman.
Remember that appliances are supposed to work for you and not against you. Proper maintenance and timely repair help prolong their useful lives and avoid upsurge of power consumption.
Opt for EnergyStar-rated Models
Most home appliances in the market now have star ratings. Star ratings range from 1 to 6 stars. The more stars assigned to it, the more energy-efficient it is versus other similar make or model.
You may have an appliance that has a low star rating and is due for replacement because of repeated breakdowns. Rather than pay for repairs twice in a row, it may be wiser to buy a new one. When buying a new appliance, refer to its Energy Star rating. Use this as a gauge when faced with several brand options. Understand that the price of the model with the highest rate may cost more. But the premium you are paying now can be recovered in the long run because of lower energy consumption.
Unplug Appliances and Devices
Despite turning off appliances (televisions, computer monitors, and even coffee makers, for instance) does not mean it has stopped drawing power. The truth of the matter is if you want to stop these units from consuming power when not in use, unplug them.
You might think that the savings from unplugging home appliances and devices are not worth it. You might think that a few dollars a day are negligible. But if you add up every dollar and cent saved for say, a year, you will realize that you are throwing away that much money after all. So, unplug and make it a habit. If you wish, you can attach them to a smart power strip. It can sense if your device is on a stand-by mode and will cut the power off from it without the need of your intervention.
The Home Should Be a Comfortable Haven. Insulate It.
Your home has an outer shell. It hinders temperatures within your home and those from outside your home from equalizing. So, if your contractor did a great job of insulating your home, you will notice that you are using less energy when running your cooling and heating systems.
When your home is under-insulated, it may be time to install or add insulation when in the middle of remodeling. However, you must decide on the kind of insulation to use and come up with the desired heat retention.
Homes that are absent of insulation may lose more than 30 percent of heat through the walls. Most homes that are new are optimally insulated. But if you are living in an old house, chances are, it is uninsulated or lacks insulation. But do not despair. Retrofitting insulation material in your wall is possible without necessarily destroying your walls. Thanks to modern technology, there are now versions of foam insulations that can be poured slowly through small openings made on the wall. Once poured within the walls, it will expand slow and fill the wall cavity without cracking or damage.
Heat rises. So when the weather is cold outside, you want the warm air contained inside. A home that is not insulated optimally may lose up to one-fourth of heat through the roof alone. The loft should have about 11 inches of insulation. If you think it necessary, you may put additional insulation.
You have two options on where to put insulation for the roof. But it will depend on the results you want to achieve. There are two possible outcomes – a cold roof or a warm roof.
When you want a cold roof, install the insulation material on the area where the joists are. Since the insulation is above the ceiling, it will not let the heat escape from the living areas below. Now, for outcome number two. If you want a warm roof, install the insulation material within the roof rafter bays. Doing so will allow heat to move in the attic area only. The heat will not escape beyond the roof.
Attic Floor Insulation
Install reflective insulation in your attic flooring. It will act as a radiant barrier by reflecting heat coming from the attic roof. It ensures that rooms and other areas below it are kept cool. This type of insulation maintains cold air in the home during the hot summer months.
The Time to Harvest Solar Energy is Now
The sun is a dependable source of alternative energy. Harnessing energy from it and using it to supply the family’s energy needs is possible through the use of solar panels. Many years ago, homeowners found it impractical to depend on solar energy and have solar panels installed on their rooftops. But nowadays, it is considered rewarding and economical, in the long run. Understandably, not all places on the planet can benefit from it. Your home should be on a spot where the sun generally shines all the days of the year.
To effectively run a household through the help of solar energy, the common question of how much panels are needed to arise. The answer rests on your roof size and location of your home. But on the average, a home will need up to 34 solar panels installed, according to a residential solar panel expert.
Solar panels are pricey at the moment, but prices have been going down a bit for the past years. At some point in time, the prices of solar panels might be more affordable as the use of alternative sources of energy that are pollution-free is highly encouraged.
Here are some alternatives to using solar roof panels if you cannot at the moment go big on solar:
Convert to Solar Water Heater
You can still go solar but not totally for now if budget is a constraint. In heating water, you can save on electricity by using solar energy. It can be done by just installing a solar water heater. It functions by having water flow through a black collector that is also insulated. Heated water from the collector will now flow into your water system.
Replace Conventional Bulbs With Solar Light Bulbs
While using natural light that filters through your windows is one way to save on light energy, you can also rely on solar light bulbs at night time. A solar light bulb matches the lighting efficiency of a conventional one. Some may even surpass it.
If you have a busted conventional indoor light bulb, replace it with a solar light bulb. It is also practical for outdoor lighting. While it will be a little expensive, relying on solar lighting means immediate savings.
Keep Solar Power Banks and Chargers Handy
Use the energy coming from the sun to charge electronic devices. Whether you are in the kitchen, laundry area, living room, and other areas of your home, make a habit of using it. Solar power banks and chargers come in portable models. It is advantageous when you are working at home and are always moving around constantly, in between tasks. You will not have issues about looking for places to plug your device to have it charged instantly.
The Bottom Line
There are many ways of embracing an energy-efficient home. Embark on appliance repairs, add insulation, or convert to solar-powered devices. These will up the potential of increased savings rather than losses. Plus, you are helping the environment by decreasing carbon emissions. Whatever is your motivation for improving efficiencies in your home, everyone benefits for sure.