Energy efficiency describes the use of less energy to successfully complete a task. Generally speaking, we hear the term used most in regards to our homes and their respective appliances. A home that lacks energy efficiency could have any number of secret energy suckers, including drafty areas, old appliances, damage to siding and the roof, damaged ductwork, and more. There exist many benefits to energy efficient homes, such that it simply doesn’t make sense to avoid the concept in practice.
Energy efficiency has become such a major concern, that there now exist efficiency standards for appliances and construction materials. A federally-backed program, Energy Star, even exists to evaluate and approve appliances, and help consumers and businesses make more energy efficient choices. Here at ProCraft Exteriors, we care a great deal about this concept, and promote energy efficient homes in Chesterfield and St. Louis, MO. If you’d like help making the improvements your home needs for increased energy efficiency, give us a call today at (314) 786-3732.
Home Energy and Efficiency
Even if you cannot afford to replace all your appliances, or install an energy efficient roof, you can practice certain lifestyle behaviors that lead to less wasted energy. For example, we’ve all left lights on in rooms after we left them. This seemingly simple mistake can have huge consequences, however, when considered on a national or global scale. Most people pursue a more efficient home strictly for the savings on their electric bill. Efficient upgrades and behavior also benefit the environment, however, as they lessen a home’s emissions and reduce its carbon footprint.
Commercial buildings and homes consume 40 percent of the energy employed in the United States. The average person spends around $2,000 each year through the use of energy in his or her home. Of this number 10 to 20 percent is wastes through outdated HVACs, drafts, old appliances, and other issues. If you take it upon yourself to fix some of these issues, you’ll not only save money, but help the environment and have a more comfortable home.
Energy Efficient Home Benefits
There exist a number of benefits that you can enjoy with an energy efficient home. All of the energy suckers in the average home not only contribute to a lack of comfort, but also to higher bills. If you remain undecided about the pursuit of energy efficient upgrades to your home, consider the following advantages:
- Increased Indoor Comfort: An energy efficient home is warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer.
- Save Money on Bills: Energy efficient homes use less energy, which results in lower bills.
- Healthier Air: Many hidden energy suckers affect air quality, such as dirty air ducts and leaks around windows and doors.
- Fewer Moisture Issues: Inefficient homes have higher humidity, along with condensation on the windows. These moisture issues impact air quality and encourage the growth of mold.
- Higher Property Value: An energy efficient home is much more attractive to potential buyers, and brings higher prices.
- Fewer Emissions: Reduced emissions from your home create less greenhouse gas, and contribute to a healthier planet.
How to Make an Energy Efficient House
To create an energy efficient home, you must get rid of the secret energy suckers, This includes not only elements of your home and appliances, but also some aspects of personal behavior. While some of the below upgrades are expensive, others are not. Some of them represent decisions to make when building a new home, such as whether to install radiant barrier roof decking.
Before you begin any home upgrades, it makes sense to schedule an energy audit. Energy audits can identify secret energy suckers, and highlight areas that need special attention. An energy audit usually includes a walkthrough and inspection, the employment of infrared cameras, and other specialized equipment and techniques to identify the best ways to make your home more energy efficient.
Energy Suckers and Energy Efficient Home Upgrades
There exist many things you can do to make your home more energy efficient. You can pursue all of these, or only a few, and still experience benefits to your finances and personal comfort. Each of the items below, if not upgraded, represents a likely energy sucker. To get rid of energy suckers and improve your home’s energy efficiency, pursue the following.
- Installation of Attic Insulation
- Replacement of Old Doors, Windows, and Skylights
- Installation of a New Thermostat
- Air Duct Repair
- Radiant Barrier Roof Decking
- New, Energy Efficient Air Conditioner and Furnace
- New, Energy Efficient Water Heater
- Upgrade to Energy Star Appliances: Refrigerators, Clothes Washers, and Dryers
- Replace Old Siding with Insulation-Backed Vinyl, Steel, or Aluminum
Energy Efficient Home Tips
Of course, not everyone can afford all or any of the above home upgrades, Nevertheless, you can have a positive impact on your home’s energy efficiency through simply do-it-yourself projects and changes to your behavior. These include:
- Making Use of Your Programmable Thermostat: During the winter, set it lower at night while you sleep and while you’re out of the house. During the summer, set it higher at these times.
- Seal Air Leaks: You can easily identify drafts around windows and doors. Once you find a leak, seal it up with caulk.
- Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs: Whenever a bulb burns out, replace it with an energy efficient one.
- Conscious Light Usage: When you leave a room, always turn off the light. During the daytime, open your curtains and make use of natural light as much as possible.
Energy Efficient Homes FAQ
What Is an Energy Efficient House?
Energy efficient homes reduce the unnecessary consumption of energy. This typically occurs through the replacement and repair of energy suckers like old appliances, drafty windows and doors, air ducts, siding, insulation, and more.
How Do You Make an Old House More Energy Efficient?
Old houses typically lose a lot of energy through air leaks around old windows and doors. These air leaks should be sealed, and the windows and doors ideally replaced. Old, damaged siding also loses energy, as does inadequate, old, or damaged insulation. You should also have your ductwork inspected and sealed.
How Can I Reduce My Electric Bill at Home?
There are numerous ways to accomplish this. You could take on large projects such as the replacement of your old siding or roof, or the purchase of Energy Star appliances and new, energy efficient ACs and heaters. Aside from these more pricey endeavors, you can also use energy efficient light bulbs, seal leaks around windows and doors, turn off lights when not in use, lower your thermostat in the winter, and raise it in the summer.
At ProCraft Exteriors, we’re your local partner for energy upgrades and energy efficient homes in Chesterfield and St. Louis, MO. If you want new siding or radiant barrier roof decking in Florida, Illlinois, or Missouri, give our team a call at (314) 786-3732.