Did you know that most of your heated or cooled air would escape through the ceiling or attic? This is the main reason we put this step first of all. Not to waste energy and money, when designing or remodeling your home, make sure to pay extra attention to your roof. Insulate (we’ll get back to insulation in a bit) it properly or use structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the roof. For the last few years cool roofs are also getting more popular in energy- efficient industry. They are designed to reflect sunlight and lower roofing temperatures. Cool roofs are mostly made of tiles and shingles. So you’ll get reduction of energy use by 15% and will decrease air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. While installing a cool roof may be expensive, it’ll pay back shortly adding real value to your energy efficient-home. As ”Investopedia” proves, you’ll save almost 50 cents per square foot on cool roofing.
Windows and Doors
Poor windows and doors can be bad energy wasters. To avoid this you should find Energy-star rated windows and doors. Surely, good windows and doors are expensive, but quality pays. Not only quality matters, when talking about the windows. Design your home to get the most from daylight. Your home’s long side should face south and have more/larger windows. This will help to bring in more sunlight and save on heating the house. Don’t underestimate the curtains as well. They could seem boring but, in fact, they might actually help save you money on energy costs. Keep curtains open all day long to get more sunlight and not to turn on the lights and keep them closed at night not to let heated air escape through the windows. To optimize your reduction of energy cost, you should also lean toward hard windows treatments such as shutters and blinds.
Appliances and Fixtures
When shopping for the appliances and fixtures for your home, make sure to choose Energy-star rated ones. Again, this might cost you a bit more, but they will serve longer and will help to save on energy bills. Your Energy-star rated fridge, dishwasher and washing machine will save you up to $50 annually, as they are 10-30 % more efficient than traditional ones. For lighting bulbs choose CFL and LED alternatives to increase efficiency.
It is well known that flooring also helps cut energy costs. The easiest way to keep your home warm during the winter is carpeting. The type of flooring is very important as well. Use natural materials for your flooring to save on climate-control costs.
When talking about home’s energy efficiency, insulation is the key to maintaining heat. Just make sure to insulate properly. Pay attention to insulation type and the places you should insulate. The right type of insulation depends on your budget. Before getting started, you should consult with an insulation contractor not to use any type which may be harmful to the lungs. Keep in mind that one inch of insulation is very good, two inches is okay, but after it each extra inch not worth the extra cost.
Installing fans is an easy way to keep your home cool. This is especially important for large rooms. Ceiling fans serve as an alternative to your HVAC system. Surely, running the fans still requires electricity, but it’s really much cheaper than using heating or cooling systems. There are wide variety of colors, shapes and styles to match the fans with your interior and home design. You will spend somewhere between $150-$200 for installing fans and will save up to 40% on heating bills and up to 10% on cooling.
Understanding your climate zone will help you choose the best energy-saving landscaping. Make sure to use native plants and trees. There is no doubt that well-designed landscape not only provides aesthetics for your home, but also can help you save on heating and cooling costs. After all, a great backyard will add more curb appeal and, consequently, value to your home. If your location doesn’t provide you an opportunity to have shade during hot summers, you may just create shade with planting the right trees at the right side of your home. Just make sure to know the size, shape and location of the shadow you’ll need. It may seem fantastic, but in tree-shaded neighborhoods air temperature can be up to 6 degrees cooler.