Whether you’re building a new home or thinking about how to upgrade your existing one, making it more eco-friendly is one of the top things to think about. A green home can save you money and, perhaps more importantly, help you to live a greener lifestyle. When you’re considering just how to make your home more eco-friendly, saving energy is going to be one of the major points that you need to consider. You have a broad range of ways you can use less energy, but how do you know which options are worth the investment? You don’t want to spend a lot of money and then find that you’re not saving money on your energy or reducing your energy usage.
This guide will show you some of the best options for energy-saving home investments.
Before you start looking at your energy products themselves, you should think about how to avoid wasting energy. One of the big ways you can waste energy at home is if your home doesn’t keep heat in. Poor insulation could mean that your home is more difficult to heat and doesn’t stay warm for as long. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to fix this. Better insulation can include insulating your loft or attic space, cavity walls, crawl space, and other areas where heat could escape.
The first step is to have a survey conducted to check the current state of your home’s insulation if you want to upgrade an existing property. If you’re planning a new build, you should take insulation into account when you’re designing your home. Good insulation can make a huge difference to how energy-efficient your home is. There are different materials that can be used, including both synthetic and natural materials, which have their own pros and cons to consider.
A New Roof
Another way to improve insulation in your home is to take a good look at the roof. Your home’s roof protects it, keeping out moisture, cold air, and more. If there are problems, it can allow heat to escape and cold air and water to get in. When an issue with your roof arises, repairing it will often do the job to fix it. However, if you’re constantly having to make repairs, it could be time to replace the roof instead. A replacement could be more cost-efficient in the end and help to insulate your home. If you find a good roofing company, they can help you to improve your roof or discuss installing a new one. You can even consider installing a new roof and solar panels at the same time, giving you the benefit of a quality roof and renewable energy.
Your HVAC system could be wasting energy if it’s old or poorly maintained. It might be time for some upgrades or even a completely new system if you want to save energy and money. Heating systems and air conditioning only last so long before you will need to replace them. With technology continually improving, new products could be a lot more efficient than what you had installed ten or 15 years ago. It’s also important to check for any regulations concerning the energy efficiency of HVAC systems. If you install any new products, make sure they meet the requirements for newly-installed furnaces, boilers, air conditioning units, or whatever else you choose to install.
If you want more efficient heating, you should consider installing radiant floor heating. It’s an energy-efficient form of heating that provides heat all over, keeping not just the air warm but also objects in the room. It feels warm under your feet, which is great in the winter, and offers a comfortable level of heat. If you’re thinking of installing radiant floor heating, you can get complete systems that include a heater, floor panels, and thermostats that you can use for zoned heating.
Home appliances can last just a couple of years, or they could keep going for up to a decade or sometimes even longer. If you have older appliances that are on their way out, you should think about looking for more energy-efficient options for your home. Similarly, if you’re planning your appliances for a brand new home, installing energy-efficient options is smart. Look for products with EnergyStar labels or similar marks that show that they are energy efficient. You only have to install an energy-efficient appliance once for it to benefit you for a number of years to come. Of course, there is often a particular program or setting to choose for even more energy-efficient use, such as an eco-cycle on your washing machine.
A Smart Thermostat
Heating and cooling your home uses up a lot of energy. One of the best ways you can control this is to have a thermostat that gives you more control over the temperature in your home. A smart thermostat is a great option if you want to be able to control it from anywhere. With a smart thermostat, you can keep energy use and costs down with easy programming. It’s simple to set your HVAC to run when you need it and ensure it turns off when it’s not needed. You can even keep track of it remotely so you can turn it on and off, or raise and lower the temperature when you’re not at home. Smart thermostats make it easy to keep track of your energy uses too. This creates more transdarency and can encourage you to reduce your energy usage.
New Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are another thing worth looking at if you want to improve insulation in your home. If your windows and doors are old or deteriorating, there could be gaps and holes letting in cold air and releasing warm air, as well as letting in moisture. It’s not always necessary to completely replace windows and doors, and you might be able to improve them with new caulking and sealant. However, if you have frames that are rotting or single-pane glass that doesn’t offer enough insulation, you might want to replace them instead of repairing them.
Install a Tankless Water Heater
Many water heaters still use tanks of water that need to be kept warm for when you need hot water. If your home still has this, it’s much smarter to switch to a tankless water heater. It will only fire up when water passes through it, giving you hot water when you ask for it instead of using energy to keep water warm when you don’t need it. Not only do you get hot water on demand, but you’ll never run out of hot water either, which means you can have as many showers as necessary without anyone having to have a cold one.
Renewable Energy Products
Renewable energy products can be some of the biggest investments that you make for your home. They are definitely a long-term investment, and it can take a few years before they pay off in terms of how much you save on your energy bills. However, they’re also a great option if your aim is to use energy in a more responsible way and be more eco-friendly. There are a few different choices you can select from if you want to have renewable energy in your home.
Solar panels are perhaps the most popular in many places. They’re an accessible option and can be installed on your roof. Solar panels can be used to generate electricity and to heat water in your home, with energy stored in batteries so that you can use it later, even when it’s not sunny. Wind energy can also be harnessed using small wind turbines, especially if you have a larger home with plenty of space to install one.
Ground source and air source heat pumps are very popular in a number of countries. They use heat from the ground or air to provide your home with heating or hot water. As well as being eco-friendly and helping you to save money, they are also virtually silent. Another way to make your heating greener is through biomass heating systems. These burn organic materials, including wood pellets, chips, or logs, to heat a property and provide hot water. They can be more cost-efficient compared to other heating methods and they produce less carbon than traditional fuel such as coal or oil.
Hydroelectric energy systems are also a possibility, although they are mostly an option for people who have a lot of land or whose properties sit on a river or lake. You need to have a water source running through your property if you want to benefit from this type of renewable energy. You can get a small-scale hydroelectric system that’s suitable for your home and can generate extra electricity or even be your main energy source.
Some energy-efficient home upgrades might seem expensive at first, but investing in them can save you money in the long-term. Think about which upgrades might be suitable for your home, whether it’s new or not.