5 Ways To Create a More Energy-Efficient Home

Home Improvement

When is the last time you’ve done an audit of your home’s energy efficiency? Inefficiencies can show up in a variety of areas, costing you money and even contributing to environmental damage. The good news is that there are many improvements you can make that can have a big impact on your energy consumption and bills. If you’re ready to tackle a few items on your efficiency to-do list, grab your toolbox, construction level, measuring tape, and a step ladder to get started on these five tips:

  •  Replace Your Old Windows With Energy-Efficient Ones

Though it certainly isn’t an inexpensive fix, replacing your old windows can save you up to 50% on your energy bills. Look for low-E, argon gas insulated windows if you want to get the most bang for your buck. If you are planning to install the windows yourself, make sure the window openings will fit the new ones without any modification. Use a T-square and construction level to see that they’re level and square and follow a step-by-step installation guide from a reputable source — This Old House, for instance. This is a fairly advanced DIY project, however, so most homeowners choose to call in professional installers for this job.

  • Insulate Your Water Tank

If you have a traditional water heater, you could be losing heat through the tank if it’s not wrapped with insulation. If you can afford it upgrade to a tankless water heater that only heats water on demand and never runs out of hot water when you need it. It is also a pricey solution for energy efficiency, but as with window replacement, it could save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

  • Switch Out Your Lightbulbs

Here’s an easy, relatively inexpensive fix: replace all your incandescent bulbs with ENERGY-STAR© rated LED ones. LEDs use 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts and last up to 50 times longer. It might not have as noticeable an impact on your electric bill as one of the major replacements, but every little bit helps to bring down your total cost.

  • Change Your Filters

Another quick-and-easy fix is to change the filters in your HVAC system and furnace. Filters should be changed at least every three months — more if anyone in the home has allergies. Clogged filters make your equipment work harder with less output, adding needless costs to your energy bills. If your home uses an oil furnace or window air conditioners, check into the possibility of upgrading to gas or radiant heat, as well as central air or ductless air conditioning. These climate-control systems are considerably more energy-efficient and cost less to run, even if it’s a big investment initially.

  • Install a Ceiling Fan or Two

Not only are ceiling fans effective for cooling in warm weather, but they also help to distribute heat in the colder months. Just make sure you use the directional switch on the side of the fan to pull the air up during winter and down in the spring and summer. To install one yourself, you’ll need a step ladder, cordless screwdriver, construction level, and basic knowledge of how to hardwire. Turn off the power first, and check to see if the existing junction box is fan-rated. If it’s not, you’ll have to install a brace to support the weight of the fan between the ceiling joists. Be sure that the fan is level and attached securely so you won’t have any rocking once you turn it on.

Making your home energy-efficient makes good sense for you, for the environment, and for resale, if you ever put it on the market. Visit Engineer Supply for the tools and equipment you need to get your home in top shape.