Energy Efficiency – the words are spewing from peoples lips! With climate change and the rising cost of energy everyone is looking for ways to not only reduce their carbon footprint and energy consumption but they’re also looking to reduce the cost of their utility bills! Just remember there’s never a bad time to make your home more energy efficient and often times it’s getting started that’s the hardest part because there is so much information out there – even I hardly know where to start!
What is Energy Efficiency?
The International Energy Agency defines it as:
Energy efficiency is a way of managing and restraining the growth in energy consumption. Something is more energy efficient if it delivers more services for the same energy input, or the same services for less energy input.
So using lightbulbs as an example, a CFL (compact fluorescent) bulb that uses the same amount of energy as a regular incandescent but produces more light would be considered energy efficient – as would an LED (light emitting diode) bulb that gave off the same amount of light but used less energy!
Ways to Increase your Energy Efficiency
This is probably the easiest and most obvious step that you can take to get started in making your home more energy efficient. Sure, CFL and LED bulbs are more expensive but they can last up to a decade and contain less mercury than your standard incandescent lightbulb!
Don’t keep your air conditioning running! Instead, turn it off when you leave your home. Alternatively, when you are home, fans and open windows are a great, low-cost alternatives!
If you live in a climate where summer nights are cooler, consider turning off your AC and opening your window to allow a nice breeze to flow through.
And of course, have your AC unit inspected and tuned up to keep it running at it’s best!
Replace old or drafty windows – not only will this increase your energy efficiency but it’ll also increase your homes return on investment!
Keep your blinds closed during the day, especially when you’re not at home! This blocks light and heat from getting in keeping your home cooler!
Turn off or unplug appliances that aren’t being used! Yes, even appliances that are plugged in are still using some energy. It might not be a lot, but it still is.
Wash with cold water and run your dryer in the evening to reduce heat.
Cook outdoors or in the evening. A conventional oven and stove can raise your kitchen’s temperature as much as 10 degrees!
Move your spare fridge indoors or in your basement if it’s in the garage. This will keep it from having to work as hard to keep your ice cream from turning into flavored milk!
Use a pool cover when your summer oasis isn’t in use. This will prevent heat loss up to 80% (especially at night).
If you have a variable speed filter make use of it at try reducing your filtration times as the water still appears clean. Some filters may only need to be ran no more than 6 hours a day.
Solar panels, wind turbines, hydro-electricity, etc. – these are all options for those who are really ready to take that step towards using renewable energy and it can be expensive to get started with; and you don’t have to do it all at once, you can use a combination of conventional and renewable energy resources to get the most bang for your buck!
Energy efficiency is a pretty big deal now-a-days, and there are plenty of easy steps that you can take as a homeowner to help reduce your carbon footprint and utility bills while also increasing the ROI on your home and your energy consumption! There are new technology being released everyday that helps to elevate our standard of living while also keeping a conscience about the future and and impact we have on our planet – Heck, Germany got so into the energy efficiency thing that they had a surplus of renewable energy this year and had to pay their citizens to use it! Renewable and cost-effective is ready and you can have it in your home too!
Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Kat Flaherty