Every year, homes in America waste roughly 61% of the energy they consume. Much of this wasted energy goes to powering standby appliances, which can be referred to as vampire power. However, a decent amount of this energy is lost due to cracks between the inside and outside of the home.
The bright side of all this is that there are actions a homeowner can take to dramatically reduce the energy consumption, minimize your home’s carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment. Here are five easy ways to make your home more energy efficient:
The simplest way to make your home more energy efficient is to stop using incandescent light bulbs, and switch to compact fluorescent lamps. According to energystar.gov, this small change can help you slash the electricity needed to light your home by up to 70%. If you really want to maximize your energy savings, LED bulbs are your best bet. The ENERGY STAR®-qualified LED bulbs use about 80% less energy than incandescent light bulbs but provide much more illumination!
Air leaks around your windows and doors can account for up to 30% of an older home’s energy that is wasted. However, you don’t have to be a remodeling professional to take care of these problem areas. Many home weatherization measures can be completed easily by yourself using low-cost products from a hardware store. Some of these solutions include installing door sweeps, applying adhesive weather-stripping around the insides of your door and window frames and sealing the gaps and cracks around your windows and doors with caulk or a foam sealant. Not only will these small changes make your home more energy efficient, but they can also make your home more comfortable.
Speaking of keeping your home comfortable, if you’ve ever lived in a building that was poorly insulated, you know just how important it is to have sufficient insulation installed throughout your home. From ice-cold floorboards to astronomically high energy bills, the effects of insufficient or worn-out insulation can be brutal. A professional insulation contractor can help you determine if your home needs more insulation, and if so, how much. A standard rule of thumb in the industry is known as the “20-40-60 Rule,” which suggests that the walls of your foundation should have an R-value of 20, the walls of your house should have an R-value of 40, and your attic and roof should have an R-value of 60.
Investing in a new brand storm door for your home is a great way to reduce heat transfer in your home’s entranceway. Many of these storm doors can limit heat loss in your home by up to 50%. Storm doors achieve this energy savings by adding an extra barrier against the hot or cold outside temperatures. They also do this by creating a pocket of air between your entry door and the storm door, which provides a layer of insulation.
Though it requires more of an investment than swapping out light bulbs or applying caulking, replacing your drafty windows can help you save thousands year after year on your energy bills. According to energystar.gov, ENERGY STAR®-certified replacement windows can also reduce your home’s carbon footprint by nearly 6,000 pounds!
Replacement windows with low-E glass can help a home stay cooler in the summer by filtering the ultraviolet rays of the sun and the heat that comes with it. This lessens the stress on your HVAC system, which will significantly reduce your heating and cooling bills. You can even take advantage of federal tax credits by purchasing ENERGY STAR®-certified replacement windows, which translates to even more savings! This also makes for a more comfortable, energy-efficient home.
To learn more about how you can improve your home’s energy efficiency and get on nature’s bright side, Call the home improvement professionals at Mt. Pleasant Window & Remodeling to schedule a free consultation for windows and doors!