5 Home Improvements That Make It More Energy-Efficient
Many home improvements are focused on enhancing the space’s aesthetic value and the residents’ comfort levels. What some people may not realize initially is that certain upgrades can affect their home’s energy efficiency too. Changes in their homes can also reduce their utility bills in the long term and their overall environmental impact.
If you’re thinking about embarking on some home improvement projects in the coming year, consider including plans to make your home more energy-efficient. Though the benefits may not be as immediately apparent as a fresh coat of paint or a new kitchen layout, you’ll certainly appreciate the results of these efforts when it’s time to settle your electricity bill. You can begin with more manageable upgrades and work your way up to more expensive and resource-intensive projects when your budget allows it. Here are 5 home improvements that can help reduce your energy consumption at home:
Replace Old Appliances
Using old appliances may be costing you more in terms of their energy usage than you think. That’s because older units may not have the energy-efficient features that many of the latest models come with. Take refrigerators, for example. Today, you can buy inverter refrigerators that use a lot less power than older fridge models do. Inverter refrigerators have controllable compressor units that adjust the energy output required to operate the appliance. Inverter technology allows the appliance to adjust and only use as much power as it needs, as opposed to running at full power all of the time, as non-inverter fridge models do.
When shopping for energy-efficient appliances, check the appliance’s energy efficiency ratio (EER) or energy efficiency factor (EEF) in addition to scrutinizing its features. You can usually find this rating on the yellow label placed on the appliance. As a guide, the higher the rating, the more energy efficient the unit is.
Unplug Appliances When Not In Use
Sometimes, small changes in how you use your electrical appliances can make a significant difference in your utility bill. For example, unplugging all devices when you’re not using them can help reduce your power usage. Even if they’re in standby mode, plugged appliances still draw a small amount of power. Though it may not be a lot, multiplying that amount among all the various plugged-in devices in your home can quickly add up and increase your monthly electricity bill. As such, remember to unplug your electric fans, phone chargers, TV, and other appliances when they are not in use.
Use LED Lights
If you want an easy home improvement project you can complete in a day, simply switch your light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones. Choose light-emitting diode (LED) lighting in particular because it saves at least 75% more energy than incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen lighting. As such, you reduce your energy consumption while keeping your home bright.
Also, LED bulbs last longer than standard bulbs. An incandescent bulb can last about 1,000 hours, and a fluorescent bulb has a lifespan of 8,000 hours. In contrast, the LED light can stay bright for as long as 60,000 hours. Because LED lighting has a longer lifespan, you won’t have to replace it as frequently. This provides you with more savings in the long term and helps mitigate landfill waste.
Install Proper Insulation as Home Improvements
You might think that your home doesn’t need insulation because the Philippines is a warm country, but investing in this home improvement can actually help keep your home cool. Upgrading your home’s insulation restricts the amount of heat that enters your home, so you don’t always have to crank your air conditioner to the highest setting.
One way to do this is by insulating the cavity between your roof and the suspended ceiling, or crawl space. This area of your home can become very hot during the day, and the heat can radiate down into your home, making your interiors feel like you’re in an oven. You can install polystyrene insulation with a reflective radiant barrier in the crawl space. The reflective barrier can throw back heat from the roof, while the insulation helps keep your ceiling cool without adding any weight. Alternatively, you can install eaves and ridge vents under the roof’s overhang. The eave vents can help draw cool air from below and release the hot air through the ridge venting. This also helps cool the crawl space in your home.
Insulation upgrades require the help of a professional and may take more than a few days to complete, depending on how large your home is. Though this is one of the more extensive home improvement projects, it will be worth the comfort that your family will enjoy without needing to keep your air conditioning on 24/7.
Home Improvements – Get New Windows and Doors
Old doors and windows can be the reason why your electricity bill is rising. These openings may no longer shut properly, so they might not be as effective in keeping warm air from entering or preventing cool air from leaving. If you plan to replace your old windows and doors, consider getting modern double-glazed ones.
Double-glazed windows and doors feature two panes of glass with a space between them. This space serves as a barrier between your home and the outside environment and prevents cool air from escaping. As such, it’s easier to maintain the temperature inside your home, and you can rely less on the artificial cooling of air conditioners. This will help you reduce your energy consumption.
Remember, you don’t need to completely renovate your home to make it more energy efficient. Even projects you can quickly accomplish in a day can have a significant effect on your power consumption. As long as you work toward making these changes and practice good energy-saving habits, you can create a more energy-efficient home.