Many new homes are built with energy efficiency in mind, but what about older homes? All homes are not made equally, and it’s likely that your home could benefit from some upgrades. Fortunately, it’s a new decade, and there are more ways than ever to improve energy efficiency in your home.
The trick is to start from the outside and then work your way inside. When you do this, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your energy-efficient upgrades.
#1 Seal and insulate.
When your home is properly sealed and insulated, you won’t just feel the difference in your comfort levels — you’ll see the difference in your bills. Many homes are not sealed well, and as a result have gaps and cracks around windows and doors where cold winds or hot air easily move through. To fix this, you can simply (and inexpensively) caulk these spaces and install new weatherstripping for noticeable improvement. Effective insulation is a bigger and more costly project, but one worthy of the time and money. Good home insulation decreases the rate that heat flows out of your home in the winter or into your home in the summer, meaning less energy is required to heat or cool your home.
#2 Replace doors and windows.
Up to 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through its windows. That means your doors and windows aren’t just costing you money — they’re costing you comfort. Aluminum, wood, fiberglass, and vinyl are all optimal frame choices since they can help keep hot air in or out, depending on the season. Window and door panes are best when they have added layers of glass (known as glazing). Double- or triple-paned (or glazed) windows and doors can provide the best insulation so you can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. When you’re ready to upgrade, there are ratings designed to measure a product’s effectiveness, so it’s important to consult those before making your final purchase.
#3 Switch light bulbs
While natural light is great, it doesn’t last all day. When you switch out your light bulbs, all it requires is a trip to your local home improvement store and some time. LED light bulbs are popular right now, and there’s good reason for it — they have a projected life up to 50,000 hours! Because of this, the initial cost is higher than ordinary light bulbs, but you won’t need to buy them nearly as often, so you’ll save more money in the long-run. Not only do LED light bulbs give off more light, but they also use much less energy. LED light bulbs save up to six times as much energy as ordinary light bulbs, so you’ll begin saving money right away.
#4 Update appliances.
You can experience significant cost savings when you update your appliances, especially when you choose to invest in a new washer, dryer, dishwasher, stove, or refrigerator. Since you use these appliances every day, it’s beneficial to have energy-efficient appliances that aren’t just good for the environment, but good for your bank account, too. Any appliances you see with an ENERGY STAR label are ideal choices, as they’re federally required to consume less energy than other models, which means you’re guaranteed energy efficiency (and therefore, money saved).
#5 Install new HVAC system.
Your HVAC system is hard at work every day, no matter what season it is, which is why having a modern and efficient system installed is a good idea. Most HVAC systems weren’t designed to be energy efficient, so your system is likely cycling off and on frequently and running longer to reach your desired temperature. A tune-up can help this, but the best move you can make is upgrading your HVAC system. If you’re thinking about home AC replacement, then an energy-efficient model is the way to go. Like with appliances, you can find HVAC systems that have an ENERGY STAR label so you can get the most out of your heating and cooling system. On average, half the energy in your home goes to your HVAC system, so it makes sense to install an energy-efficient heating and cooling system, along with a programmable thermostat.
How Will You Increase Your Home’s Efficiency?
If you’re not ready for major energy-efficient upgrades, like solar panels or wind power systems, then the above suggestions are a good place to start. To learn more about energy-efficient HVAC systems or home AC replacement, call us today at 714-643-6507! We proudly serve all homeowners in Mission Viejo, CA and the surrounding communities.