Making your home more energy-efficient is a great way to save money and help preserve the environment. Though each home is unique, there are a few upgrades that most houses can undergo to make them more efficient. Here are four things you need to upgrade in your home to increase its energy efficiency.
Air conditioning and heating are usually the two areas in which a house consumes the most energy. Changing air temperature requires significant energy inputs, leading to high consumption of energy. While you won’t get around this entirely, you can improve the situation by upgrading to a more efficient furnace and air conditioner. Look for low-energy options that are still sufficient to keep your home comfortable in all seasons. You may also be able to reduce your energy bills by looking into geothermal heating as an alternative to propane or natural gas.
Your home’s water heater is also a major source of energy consumption. Like air, it takes a large amount of energy to heat the water for washing dishes and showering. Switching to a more efficient water heater can reduce your utility bills, especially if you’re overdue for a new one. With a new water heater, you’ll also likely find that you can hot water more quickly once the tank has emptied.
As one of the major openings in your home, windows present an opportunity for heated or cooled air to leak out. This, in turn, causes your air conditioner or furnace to work harder. In addition to getting new units to cut down on energy use, consider window replacement as another way to cut down on your home energy consumption. Resealing your doors to prevent air leakage is also a worthwhile step.
Although you may not have thought of it, an outdated roof could be leaking a great deal of energy. Old roofs allow more air to get in and out than new, fully sealed ones. In addition to the roof itself, you may need to upgrade your attic insulation. An improperly insulated attic often leads to higher energy bills and less comfortable home. By upgrading both the roof and the insulation, you may be able to greatly improve the energy efficiency of your home.
By making these four upgrades, you should be able to lower your utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Also be sure to replace older appliances, since these often use much more energy than newer equivalents.