Home energy efficiency upgrades can be easy, cost-effective, and green. If you care about the environment, green living, and reducing your carbon footprint, it’s a great place to start. Rural Solar has some excellent home energy efficiency upgrade articles if you want to know what upgrades make sense for your home and how to pay for them.
We’re going to talk about a few of the top ones that are not only smart choices, both green and financially, but also make sense from an energy perspective.
Table of Contents
1. Maximize Use of Natural Light for Home Energy Efficiency
If you want to save money on your electric bill, one of the best things you can do is maximize the use of natural light in your home. One way to do this is by installing skylights or adding more windows. You can also replace regular bulbs with compact fluorescent ones.
Energy-efficient windows also have more durable coatings that protect them from weather damage and improve their appearance over time without requiring replacement. These bulbs produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs, but they use 75% less energy.
2. Install Energy Efficient Windows for Your Home
If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s important to have good insulation. This will help keep your heating costs down during those cold months. If you have old windows that don’t have good insulation, consider replacing them with new ones that are energy efficient.
New windows can be expensive, but if you plan ahead and take advantage of tax incentives or rebates from utility companies, it may be easier to afford them than you think!
3. Seal Air Leaks for Home Energy Efficiency
Energy Star says sealing your home’s air leaks can save you up to 10 percent on your annual heating and cooling bill. One way to do this is by adding an extra layer of insulation in the attic or walls of your home. Consequently, this will help keep the heat inside during cold months and vice versa during hot months.
Other ways to improve home energy efficiency include installing storm windows or caulking around windows and doors to prevent air from escaping into the environment.
Consider adding insulation in areas where drafts are common, such as behind bathroom walls and cabinets, attics, and basements, especially if you have older homes with drafty windows or doors that leak cold air during the winter months.
4. Home Energy Efficiency From Microhydro Electricity Systems
In developing countries, many people use diesel generators to supply electricity to their homes. These generators are costly and noisy, emitting exhaust fumes that pollute the air. In addition, they need to be refueled every few days, which is a major expense for those who cannot afford it.
A better alternative is to install solar panels or wind turbines that can generate electricity for your home. If you live in an area where water flows down from the mountains, you can install a microhydroelectric system that generates power from this flow of water.
5. Install Energy-Efficient Doors
A new door can significantly improve your home energy efficiency, including your heating and cooling costs. Consider replacing solid wood or fiberglass doors with insulated steel doors with weather stripping and a high R-value (resistance to heat flow). You can also install storm doors to increase the overall efficiency of your home.
Doors with high R-values will keep warm air in during cold months and cool air out during hot months. The average cost to replace a door is $3,000, but high-performance doors can cost as much as $8,000.
6. Insulate Your House ($1,500 and $2,500)
The easiest way to increase the energy efficiency of your home is by insulating it properly. Insulation reduces heat transfer between two objects, so it keeps warm air in during winter and cool air out during summer. It also helps prevent moisture from getting into walls, which helps prevent mold growth and reduces energy costs associated with heating and cooling your home.
Many different types of insulation are available today, from cellulose insulation (made from recycled materials) to rock wool insulation (made from melted volcanic ash). Still, mineral wool or fiberglass batt insulation is the most cost-effective option for homeowners.
Insulating ductwork can be expensive depending on how much ductwork you have running through your home. But it’s worth doing because it saves money on heating and cooling costs every year. This can account for up to 40 percent of your home’s air leaks.
Ducts are usually made of sheet metal or fiberglass insulation wrapped around small pipes called registers that pull air into your HVAC system. During installation, ducts are often cut short or not sealed properly, causing them to leak air when they’re pressurized with hot or cold air from your HVAC system.
To fix this problem, install foam gaskets around registers, seal all joints with mastic during installation, and then check once again during annual maintenance inspections!
8. Wind Power Systems for an Energy Efficient Home ($3,500 And $7,500/ 1kw Wind Turbine)
If you live in a windy area, you can install a small wind turbine that generates electricity from the wind. While these systems are not as efficient as solar panels, they have several advantages over other renewable energy sources, such as hydropower and geothermal power:
They’re relatively inexpensive compared to some other forms of renewable energy. They require less space than other forms of renewable energy generation (such as solar panels). They’re easy to install yourself if you’re handy with tools and don’t mind climbing onto your roof!
A 1-kilowatt system will generate about 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually to meet most home electricity needs in the Midwest region. That said, only about half of all potential sites are suitable for large wind turbines due to local terrain features like hills or mountains or obstructions such as trees or buildings.
Read More: A Closer Look At Wind Power For Homes
9. Installing Photovoltaic Solar Panels for Home Energy Efficiency
Photovoltaic solar panels are one of the best ways to reduce energy costs and lower carbon footprint. Solar panels generate electricity from sunlight, so they work during the day when plenty of sun are available but draw no power from the grid at night when demand is high, and prices are higher.
Photovoltaic (PV) systems can be very cost-effective if you live in an area with lots of sunshine throughout the day. In addition to saving money on your electric bill each month, PV systems typically come with state rebates that help offset some of the upfront costs associated with installing them on your home or business. In some states, you can even get utility companies to pay you for the electricity your solar panels generate!
Read More: Cost To Build A Good Net-Zero Energy Home
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10. For Home Energy Efficiency Install A Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a great way to ensure your home is energy efficient and comfortable. The thermostat allows you to set your home’s temperature so that it’s not too high when you’re gone or asleep and not too low when you are at work or school.
In addition, it can be programmed to raise or lower the temperature by several degrees during specific times of the day so that the house is warm when you get home from work but not uncomfortably hot. This can save hundreds of dollars a year on heating costs!
Read More: Solar Battery: How to Get Started Smoothly
11. Install an Energy Efficient Water Heater
When replacing your old water heater with a new one, ensure it’s Energy Star certified or meets other national efficiency standards. Newer models will provide better home energy efficiency than older ones. So when it comes time to replace yours, look for an Energy Star label or one that meets EPA guidelines (or both).
If you already have an Energy Star-rated model and want to take advantage of lower utility bills, consider installing an on/off valve on your hot water line to help reduce waste. An energy-efficient water heater uses two-thirds less energy than traditional models, which translates into significant savings over time. Some models even include tankless systems that provide endless hot water without using any electricity at all!
12. Upgrade Space Heating Systems for Home Energy Efficiency
Space heating consumes about half of all energy used in U.S. homes, so upgrading your home’s HVAC system can significantly reduce your electricity bill by lowering the amount of heat needed to warm up your house during winter months.
Replacing old furnaces with high-efficiency or heat pump systems can save up to 40% on fuel costs compared to older systems while improving indoor air quality by producing fewer emissions that contribute to poor air quality in homes (Source: Department of Energy).
13. Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting
Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs can save you money on electricity and help reduce your carbon footprint. CFLs are more expensive than incandescents but last longer and use less electricity, so they’re a good choice if you keep a bulb for several years.
LEDs are more expensive than CFLs but last much longer. And so they’re worth considering if you plan to keep a bulb for many years. In addition to changing the type of light fixture in your home, ensure it’s properly installed with no gaps for heat loss or heat gain through windows or other openings.
If you have hardwired circuits, consider replacing them with newer technologies such as occupancy sensors.
If you live in a hot climate and use lots of water, installing solar water heaters might be an excellent idea for home energy efficiency. These systems use the sun’s energy to heat water without using any electricity or gas. The heat from the sun is collected by panels on your roof and then used to heat the water in pipes. This process is much cheaper than electricity or gas and helps reduce your carbon footprint.
Soar water heaters are particularly useful if you live in a region where temperatures drop below freezing during winter. The price of solar hot water systems has decreased significantly over the last decade, so they’re no longer just for the rich and famous.
Read More: A Complete Guide To Solar Hot Water System
15. Rainwater Collection Systems
Another great form of home energy efficiency is rainwater collection systems. These are another great way to save money on utility bills and simultaneously help the environment. When rain falls on your roof and flows into gutters, it can be collected in underground cisterns or above-ground tanks for watering gardens and washing cars.
Suppose you live in an area that experiences drought conditions or does not receive enough rainfall yearly. Consider installing a rainwater collection system to use this free resource instead of paying for monthly tap water.
What to Look for in an Energy-Efficient Home
Eco-friendly construction materials are made from recycled or renewable resources. Today’s most commonly used eco-friendly building materials are cork, bamboo, stone, and wood. Bamboo, for example, grows faster than trees and can be harvested after only three years.
It is strong and durable, making it a popular flooring and furniture choice. Stone is another excellent choice because it’s easy to clean, durable and resistant to wear and tear. Concrete blocks are also popular because they are durable and easy to install.
Look for Appliances Certified by ENERGY STAR ®
Appliances that carry the ENERGY STAR ® label meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA “estimates” that every year Americans save $11 billion in energy costs due to the use of these products.
These appliances save money on heating bills and electricity consumption costs because they’ve been designed with energy efficiency in mind rather than just price or appearance considerations. Appliances that carry the ENERGY STAR ® label are also easier to maintain, which can help save you money on repair costs.
Cool roof are a great way towards home energy efficiency. These roofs are white or reflective roofs that reflect the sun’s heat and light, helping to reduce cooling costs. They also reduce glare in the home and make it more comfortable to be outside on hot days. Cool roofs can be made of metal, concrete, or asphalt shingles. Roofs can also be painted white or covered with a reflective coating such as tin foil.
Tankless water heaters use less energy than traditional storage tank water heaters. They are often more efficient than electric resistance heating elements because they can regulate the temperature of the water before it enters your home.
Tankless water heaters may be less expensive to install than other types of water heaters. Still, they do tend to cost more than storage tank models over time due to their higher initial price tag and lack of energy savings during a typical lifetime (approximately 20 years).
High Energy Efficiency Lighting
Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with LED lights is one of the easiest ways to reduce electricity bills. And if you live in an area with good sunlight during the day, consider installing solar-powered lights in your yard or driveway so they’ll be ready when the sun goes down.
Installing home energy efficiency upgrades is much more affordable than you might think. You can save big bucks with various upgrades tailored to your needs, from efficiency auditing to attic insulation and everything in between. And although some of the quotes above may look a bit high, you are looking at a lifetime of energy saving at a pocket-friendly price.