Having an energy efficient home can provide you with multiple benefits, therefore, it is no wonder that the majority of new homes are built with this in mind. For a start, they will provide the homeowner with substantial financial savings in the long run due to the reduction in energy usage as a whole. For example, the expert team behind blinds-2go.co.uk strongly claims that just heating and cooling amounts for 39% of a household’s entire energy requirement.
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If your home is insulated, then you won’t need to use as much electricity to warm it up, lowering the cost of bills.
Additionally, it can give you higher home comfort levels leading to an overall better quality of life. People spend the majority of their time indoors, and having an energy efficient building will help maintain a moderate temperature, increase the air quality, and lower the humidity levels. Plus, the more energy efficient your home it, the higher the resale value when it comes down to it.
Not to mention the fact that having an energy efficient home will produce fewer greenhouse gasses, which is better for the environment. Lowering the total amount of these gasses that are released into the atmosphere is a very important step for reducing the impact of climate change all over the world.
These are just a few of the reasons why, in recent years, the demand for more energy efficient homes has increased dramatically. Homeowners are now getting their houses rated for energy efficiency so that they know where they rank and then what they need to do to make any improvements.
If you are looking to make your home more energy efficient, you don’t have to think that it is necessarily going to cost you a fortune. Sure, there are some large scale projects which can set you back a bit, but it is perfectly possible to make some real improvements by just making some small changes.
This is something that is possible for you to do yourself, and could see improvements of up to 41%! You need to try and find the balance between minimizing any air leaks and ensuring a house has appropriate ventilation.
A simple way to find leaks is via a visual inspection, for example, inspecting all areas where two different building materials meet, such as exterior corners or outdoor water faucets.
Inside the home, you can check for gaps that could cause air leakage, such as electrical outlets, attic hatches, vents and fans, and door and window frames.
The next step would be to conduct a basic building pressurisation test which can be achieved by first turning off all combustion appliances on a cool, windy day. Then shut all windows, exterior doors, and fireplace flues, and turn all exhaust fans. You should then light an incense stick and bring it close to possible leaking areas where you will be able to see the way the smoke moves.
You may choose to hire a qualified technician to conduct a blower door test if you want a more thorough inspection.
Something as simple as swapping from an ordinary light bulb to an LED one can have a huge, positive impact on your home. LED bulbs will not only help you save energy, but they are also inexpensive and well made.
Currently, they are much more energy efficient than any light bulbs offered on the market, especially if you leave your lights on for extended periods of time. LED bulbs tend to be mounted on a flat surface, which means the light is only emitted in the intended direction (hemispherically), which will reduce light and energy being wasted.
An LED bulb has a longer life than other light bulbs. For example, on average, an incandescent light bulb will last for around 1,000 hours, whereas an LED one will last between 30,000 and 50,000 hours. Plus, they are not affected by the turning on or off of bulbs, so they tend to be a good choice when it comes to sensor lights.
Additionally, an LED bulb contains less hazardous materials than regular bulbs, such as mercury. Therefore, you won’t need to arrange for their proper disposal.
Just changing a few of your day to day habits can lead to a visible improvement in your homes energy efficiency. Sometimes people don’t realize that the problem is not the house, but the habits that they have which lead to unintentional energy wasting. Let’s take a look at a few of these habits.
- Leaving appliances plugged in – Even if you are not using an appliance when it is plugged in, it can still be a drain on electricity. Although this may only be a small amount, if you add it all up over the days and months, your energy savings will not be at their best.
- Give the heating and cooling a break – It may be commonplace now to simply turn up the heating when it is cold or turn on the air con when you are hot, but in winter, you could consider putting on an extra layer of clothing before turning to the thermostat. You could also just set the thermostat to turn on and off at certain times, as there is not point having the heating on if no one is in the house.
- Turn the light off – It is very easy to leave the room and forget to turn the light off, but this not only will end up costing you more in the long run, but could also produce more heat and contribute to energy waste. You could invest in dimmers, sensor, or timer-controlled lights to help if you forget to turn lights off often.
If you are looking to improve your home further and are willing to make some more investments, then there are a number of things that you can do.
Some of these improvements include replacing windows or doors, adding or replacing insulation, replacing old home appliances, replacing HVAC equipment, installing high efficiency water heaters, or installing solar panels.