More likely than not, most homeowners want to invest in a more energy efficient household. However, the same homeowners are held back by the types of energy efficiency myths that have made their way into the mainstream, including:
– Thinking that energy efficiency represents a sacrifice in terms of the comfort or livability of one’s home
– The notion that pricey audits are the only way to figure out how to improve a home’s efficiency; likewise, thinking that such audits are little more than scams
– The idea that energy efficiency has to be expensive, including costly, time-consuming projects such as installing solar panels on the roof
Of course, each one of these myths is completely false.
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For starters, an energy audit isn’t completely necessary for simple home renovations; likewise, such projects certainly don’t have to be expensive or represent a sacrifice of one’s quality of living.
Rehabbing your home doesn’t have to be a costly, laborious process: in fact, it can be quite simple if you know where to start. Likewise, finding ways to boost the energy efficiency of your home doesn’t have to be a headache. If you’re looking to live in a greener space without breaking the bank, consider the following three cost-effective projects first.
Heating and Cooling
Considering the bulk of our energy bill goes toward heating and cooling respectively, there’s perhaps no better place to begin slashing your budget. The question remains: how?
Thankfully, there are many cost-effective options available depending on whether you’re trying to cool or heat your home, respectively. For starters:
– Rely on a variety of household and/or ceiling fans to cool down versus running your air conditioner 24/7
– Consider installing a programmable thermostat, which can help regulate the temperature when you aren’t at home (and turn it up or down while you’re trying to get comfortable at nighttime)
– Keep an eye on your windows to ensure that there are no drafts or that air is needlessly escaping your home: adhesive to seal your windows is a quick fix that costs less than ten dollars and only takes a few minutes to apply
Speaking of windows, you can uncover a potential goldmine of savings depending on how you manage the natural light in your home. For example, investing in darkening blinds or thick curtains can help block out sunlight that may be heating up your household. On the flip side, you may consider letting more sun during the daytime in if you’re located in a cooler climate.
Artificial light plays a role in your power bill as well. Invest in LED and CFL bulbs, which use between 25% and 35% less energy versus incandescent bulbs and last longer. Replacing your light bulbs represent a subtle yet significant means of going green in the home.
There are multiple eco-friendly ways to reign in your energy costs in regard to your water usage, including:
- Installing a tankless water heater, which works “as needed” to avoid wasting energy and cut down on heating costs
- Replace plumbing components such as shower heads and toilets with “low flow” options, both of which can be found as reasonable prices at your local hardware store or online
- Try to avoid the warmer water setting on your laundry machine when possible: in the cases of some machines, there isn’t enough of a difference between “warm” and “hot” to justify the energy expenditure
With more and more homeowners jumping on the efficiency bandwagon, there are tons of ways to improve your home’s energy profile on a budget. By taking the small steps to improve the energy efficiency of your home, you can live comfortably and have peace of mind in the process.