As temperatures rise and fall, it’s important to ensure that your home is as energy-smart as possible.
Most people don’t notice the temperature changes in their houses because they’re not paying attention.
Still, you can take some simple steps to make your home more energy-smart. You’ll save money while making your house more comfortable during extreme weather.
Table of Contents
Buy a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat is a perfect way to monitor temperature fluctuations and save you energy costs.
Some of them have the flexibility to adjust temperature settings according to each person’s preferences. For example, turning off when everyone leaves for work but coming back on at a lower temperature during nap time.
You can control others remotely via an app on your smartphone. This feature also means that you can set the heat level whether at home or not.
They’re also easy to install, remove your old thermostat and replace it with a compatible one. Usually by pressing a few buttons or installing an adapter kit.
Upgrade Your Water Heater
You probably think of your water heater as a passive appliance, doing its job in the background while you go about your day.
But it’s the second leading cause of home energy use. It costs U.S. households more than $1 billion annually, not to mention the environmental impact that comes with using fossil fuels to generate electricity for heat.
There’s a possibility that your heater could be retrofitted with an energy-smart model with similar functionality. This is possible if your heater is 10 years and below.
For example, if an electric water heater is well maintained and within its lifespan, there’s no need to replace it just yet.
Instead, try upgrading with energy-smart models like heat pumps or gas-fired heaters, which are much better at conserving energy than traditional hot water tanks.
They don’t require any ignition source such as natural gas lines or electricity supplies from utility providers.
Insulate The House
You want to insulate your home’s walls, ceiling, and floors. This can be done with fiberglass batts or blankets in your attic, ductwork, and garage.
If you have an unfinished basement, consider insulating it with spray foam to eliminate drafts.
You should also insulate crawlspaces with polyurethane or rigid foam board insulation panels to keep heat from escaping through the floorboards while improving moisture control in your crawlspace area.
Finally, add weatherstripping around windowsills, doors, and caulking, so air doesn’t seep through cracks where they meet other surfaces.
Install Energy-Smart Windows
energy-smart windows help keep your home comfortable, even when the mercury drops or rises.
They also save you money on heating and cooling bills, which means more money in your pocket!
If you’re looking to install new windows, try using a window film instead of replacing them with traditional glass panes.
Window films can help reduce UV rays while maintaining clear visibility from the inside out.
Awnings are another great way to increase comfort and style without sacrificing energy efficiency.
You can choose several different styles of awnings depending on what suits your needs best:
- Retractable or stationary models that roll up for times when shade isn’t needed.
- Rollaway slatted shades for privacy.
- Wood shutters for a more rustic look.
- Canvas blinds fold down horizontally or vertically to block unwanted sunlight from entering through uncovered glass panels.
Photovoltaic Solar Panels
One of the best energy-smart home improvements you can make is installing photovoltaic solar panels.
This device converts sunlight into electricity, which can then be used to power your house and reduce your bills.
Solar panels are also perfect for the environment because they don’t produce greenhouse gases when producing electricity.
Maximize the Use of Natural Light
The easiest way to save energy is by using natural light; if you can turn off the lights, do it!
But what if there are times when you need additional light in your home?
Artificial lighting is excellent for adding high-quality illumination and providing better visibility in dimly lit areas of your home.
If you’re using artificial light, ensure you have the right bulbs for the job. Use daylighting whenever possible.
This means directing all available natural light into a room through windows by installing track lighting or directing window coverings like shades toward windows.
You’ll also want to use timers on any lights that stay on for extended periods, like nightlights or lamps that may be left on while no one’s home.
Install Energy-Smart Doors
If you’re truly looking to maximize your energy savings, there are several factors to consider when choosing new doors.
First and foremost, it’s essential to remember that doors are a significant source of heat loss in the home.
Make sure you replace old or damaged doors with ones with good insulation and low U-factors.
You should also choose Energy Star-rated products when possible. These will help you save on your energy bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing a product that meets this standard.
Lastly, make sure that any new door is well-insulated so as not to add more heat loss into the home than necessary, and ensure it has high R-values so it can retain as much heat as possible during winter months!
Block Air Leaks
Air leaks can be a significant source of energy loss. Although it may seem a lot of work to find them, there is no shortage of places where the air is escaping from your home: around windows and doors; through electrical outlets; around pipes and ducts; through cracks in the foundation or attic floorboards, the list goes on!
The first step is knowing where they are likely to occur. Once you know what areas need attention, it’s time to look for leaks visually or with an infrared camera that highlights heat signatures.
Then all that remains is sealing up any gaps found using caulking products like those made by Green Glue Caulk & Sealant Systems.
Ducts are a common place for heat to escape. Ducts that are not adequately insulated can lose up to 40% of the energy they carry, leading to higher utility bills and increased greenhouse gas emissions.
The goodness is that there are a lot of ways you can improve the efficiency of your ductwork by adding or improving insulation:
Insulate Attic Ductwork
The attic is one of the best places in your home where you can add insulation because it’s typically easy to access, but if you don’t have an attic or aren’t comfortable climbing into it, consider hiring a professional for this project.
Insulate Basement Ductwork
The basement should also be well-insulated because it tends to stay warmer than other parts of your home during winter and cooler than other parts during summer, so heat from air conditioners doesn’t get trapped.
If you don’t have any insulation in your basement ceiling/flooring/walls/etc., hire an expert who can help improve its energy efficiency with these improvements!
Insulate Walls Around HVAC
Insulate these walls either inside or outside depending on whether they’re being used right now (elevate them off ground level)
Install Wind Power Systems
Wind power systems, like wind turbines and solar panels, are an excellent alternative for homeowners who live in areas with high winds but don’t have enough clear space to install solar panels.
Wind turbines can be installed on rooftops or towers in a backyard. However, they’re expensive to install and require maintenance because they need regular cleaning.
Also, keep in mind that wind turbines are noisy. You may want to consider installing them in an enclosed space or not placing them next to windows where you might hear the sound of spinning blades.
Consider Upgrading To Energy-Smart Home Appliances
When you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your energy bill, the place to start is with home appliances.
If you have old appliances that aren’t energy-efficient, it’s time for an upgrade.
The first thing you need to do is check the ratings of each appliance in your home.
Each appliance should have an Energy Rating label, giving its power usage in kWh/year.
The higher an appliance’s rating (i.e., A++), the more efficient it will be at using electricity compared with other models of similar size and function.
As a rule of thumb: the lower number on the label (i.e., 0) means less energy consumption, while a higher number means more energy consumption per year.
It’s important to note that not all appliances fall into neat categories. For example, microwaves tend not to have labels because they use so little power relative to their size, but don’t let this deter you from making smart decisions about your purchases!
All types of household electronics should be evaluated based on their relative efficiency when determining whether or not they’re worth keeping around.
Install Energy-Smart Space Cooling Systems
Space cooling is the process of transferring heat from one location to another.
Depending on your living situation and energy needs, there are several ways to cool down your home or office during extreme heat waves.
Energy-Smart Heat pump
This system uses electricity to transfer heat inside your home to a cooler outside source.
You can also use this same technique to heat a space in the winter, but because most people don’t want their homes freezing during winter, we’ll focus on how they can be used for cooling purposes instead.
Geothermal heat pump
This uses water as its primary medium for transferring heat and works similarly to how regular air conditioners do.
The main difference is that it helps you keep up with changing temperatures by drawing in additional water, if necessary, through pipes located underground near where you live or work, so no matter what time of year, it gets too hot outside!
Install Space Heating Systems
A heat pump is a great way to heat your home and save money. During the winter, it uses outdoor air to warm your home, while it reverses the process and cools it in the summer.
If you have an older home with no ductwork or insulation, upgrading those will help too!
A wood stove is another cost-effective energy source for heating your house.
You’ll need to ensure that you have enough room for storage and that there are no flammable materials nearby, but aside from that, a wood stove is simple to install and maintain on your own.
If you live in a remote area where electricity is not available, or if you want the look of an old-fashioned fire without dealing with any maintenance, a pellet stove might be the solution for you.
Consider Energy-Smart Lighting
As a homeowner, it’s important to be aware of the weather’s effect on your home’s energy consumption.
When temperatures drop, your heating and cooling costs go up. That’s why it’s essential to consider some energy-efficient lighting upgrades that can help you save on this expense during the winter months.
Lighting is one aspect of your home that you have control over. You can do many things to improve its energy performance without having to make significant structural changes or investments in time or money.
Try Micro Hydro Electricity Systems
Micro hydroelectric systems can be installed in the backyard of your home or even on a small piece of land.
They are easy to install and provide enough electricity to power an entire house or business.
Micro hydroelectric systems use water pressure from a nearby natural source, such as a pond or stream, to turn a turbine that generates electricity.
These turbines are similar to those used in large-scale hydroelectric plants, but they’re smaller and cheaper because they don’t require additional equipment like generators or transmission lines.
You don’t have to be a construction expert or handyman to make some simple home improvements that will save you money on your energy bills and make your house more comfortable.
With just a few tools, some knowledge of how to use them, and suitable materials, you can upgrade your home’s insulation, ventilation, and exterior walls.
Hence, they’re better equipped for extreme weather. Take advantage of this information today!