If you’re renovating your home, how can you make it more ecologically-friendly? Today, many people are asking this question, either out of environmental interest or because they want to reduce their energy bills. It’s expensive to pay for wasted energy, and making your home more green will also lead to more green in your wallet. These straightforward fixes will reduce your energy use.
1. Change Your Appliances
If your appliances are very dated, they probably use a lot of energy. While it is not eco-friendly to change your appliances every few years and send the old ones to the garbage, it is beneficial to update an older fridge, for example. According to Mr Electricity, “If your fridge was made before 2001, then yes, you should almost certainly trade it in. Older fridges are wildly inefficient.”
When you’re choosing a new appliance, look for Energy Star appliances. This makes it easy to find an efficient model.
Also, if you have any older appliances that you keep plugged in just in case you need them, now is the time to get rid of them. For instance, that old beer fridge in the garage is probably costing you a lot of energy, and if you rarely use it, there is really no point in keeping it around.
2. Insulate Your Home
This is not an exciting renovation, and it won’t make your home look great on the inside. People rarely bring friends over to see their new attic insulation. However, it is one of the most high impact renovations that you can do to improve the efficiency of your home. Knauf Insulation states that “energy conservation through improved insulation is one of the least expensive and most secure forms of energy available to us.” If you have an older home and you have to crank up the furnace in the winter and turn on the air conditioning constantly in the summer, you likely have problems with your insulation.
3. Search for Drafts
Drafts can also send hot air out into the environment around your home, leading to more energy use. If you’re spending a lot of money on electricity, consider doing a blower door test. This can help you pinpoint the sources of drafts in your home. You could find that you have:
- Windows that are not energy efficient
- Rotten door and window frames
- Leaky wall outlets
- Poorly-fitted doors
- Leaks and damage to the roof
4. Install Tools To Help
In addition to insulation and renovations, there are plenty of tools and equipment that can assist you in your quest to be more energy-efficient.
- Programmable thermostats turn on the heat or air conditioning when you’re home and awake. You can program them to keep the house at a different temperature when you’re out or asleep.
- LED lights are highly energy-efficient and getting less expensive. Compared to an incandescent bulb, they are on average 6 times more efficient.
5. Create Indoor-Outdoor Spaces
If you like to have all of the windows and doors open during the summer months but you rely on air conditioning to cool your home, this can lead to a lot of air conditioning costs. Instead, create indoor-outdoor living spaces that allow you to enjoy the outdoors and the indoors.
- Cook in those indoor-outdoor spaces so that the heat of the oven or barbeque doesn’t impact the rest of the home.
- Add elements to your outdoor landscaping to make it easier to cool your home in the summer. For example, retractable awnings make it possible to let the morning sun in and keep the hot afternoon sun out.
- Add shade trees and trellises to reduce the heat in your home.
At Harry Helmet, we’re here to help you with your home renovation questions. Are you curious to see how changes to your awnings, roofing, or gutters could benefit your home?