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8 Energy-Efficient Home Design Upgrades

Leading a green life has become very popular over the years. That doesn’t come across as such a surprise considering everything that is happening in the world nowadays. It’s important to make changes and try to make some difference. You may think that you can’t make such a great difference, but the truth is that you actually can.

The changes you can make in your life will seem small to you, but they will prove to be beneficial in the long run. To start making greener choices, you can make some changes inside your home. Once you make your home more energy-efficient, it’ll influence your lifestyle and motivate you to become even more eco-friendly.

1. Replace the light bulbs

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Making your home more efficient almost always starts from changing your light bulbs. This is a rather simple change that makes a huge difference. If you change your light bulbs, you’re soon going to see this difference. It’ll become pretty obvious once the electricity bills start coming in. All you should do is get some energy-efficient alternatives to the traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Alternatives such as halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) can last 3 to 25 times longer than the traditional light bulbs. With these bulbs, you’ll be able to use up to 80% less electricity. You may think that such bulbs are more expensive and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, once you start using them, you’ll see how good of an investment they are. Due to the significantly lowered consumption of energy, you’ll immediately start saving money and the environment.

2. Install a programmable thermostat

One of the biggest reasons your house isn’t energy-efficient is that you may be wasting energy when you don’t need it. For instance, you may be asleep or away and your house could keep heating or cooling. Since there is no need for your house to continue heating during cold winter days when you’re away, it would be a shame to waste the energy on it. You can easily solve this problem with a programmable or smart thermostat.

Such a thermostat can easily be set to automatically turn off when needed. This way, you’ll stop wasting energy. The best thing is that you won’t have to sacrifice any kind of comfort to make this happen. It won’t be hard to find the perfect thermostat for you since they come in different models. Fitting the thermostat into your weekly schedule shouldn’t be a problem either.

3. Get energy-efficient appliances

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You shouldn’t forget that the appliances you use are also responsible for the amount of energy you are using on a daily basis. Because of that, it’s very important what appliance you are going to opt for when buying them. If you start by choosing energy-efficient appliances for your home, you’ll do great when it comes to saving energy. You may not even realize it, but appliances are responsible for about 13% of your total energy use.

While purchasing some energy-efficient appliances means investing some money, it is bound to pay off in the future. Namely, such appliances have up to 25% lower operating costs. This means that they will not only benefit the environment, but they will be great for your wallet too. Because of that, even though the initial purchase price can be high, it still is a great idea to purchase them. This is mainly true because of their annual operating cost. To further make your house green, you can even invest in eco-friendly interior design. After that, you’ll really do the maximum for your home and lifestyle.

4. Reduce your water heating expenses

Besides everything else, water heating is another thing that contributes to your total household consumption. The good news is that 3 methods may be very useful when it comes to reducing your water heating expenses. The first one would be to simply use less hot water. This is the simplest way to deal with this problem. The second one would be turning down your thermostat on a water heater, and the final one would be insulating your water heater and the first six feet of hot and cold water pipes.

When it comes to replacing your water heater with one more efficient, you should do it carefully. You should pay attention to two things. You’ll need to pay attention to what kind of water heater you need and what type of fuel does the water heater use. For instance, you may get an energy-efficient model but not get the result you were hoping for. The problem could be that it’s not suitable for big families and it cannot handle simultaneous uses of hot water. To make sure that you don’t make such a mistake, think well before actually purchasing the water heater.

5. Install energy-efficient windows

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Having quality windows is important for more reasons. Windows are there to add a touch of style and appeal to your home. They are there to provide sunlight in your house and they are there to protect you from harmful rays. Besides all that, they can help you waste less energy. Since poor windows aren’t suitable for preventing the heat escape, as a result, you end up heating your home more than necessary. Investing in energy-efficient windows of higher quality can lower your energy waste. As a result, your energy bills will be much lower.

Depending on the weather conditions of the region you live in, you should get different types of windows. For instance, if the weather conditions are extreme, you’ll need something that will be able to protect you from storms and other similar events. On the other hand, for warmer regions, you’ll need windows with lower heat loss. Not only windows, but other features can also be energy-efficient. For instance, some high-quality outdoor window awnings can be very beneficial since it provides a layer more of insulation. They are particularly great because they can change the aesthetics of your home while also being highly functional.

6. Install new doors

Next to the windows, doors can make a huge difference in your home once you decide to make them more energy-efficient. The first thing you could do with your doors in order to go for a greener option is to replace them. Old doors tend to get damaged and they may be the reason you are wasting energy. On the other hand, newer doors are in a perfect state and they can help you maximize your savings. One thing you should keep is the region you live in. depending on the climate, you should choose the right energy-efficient doors that will meet your needs.

If your exterior doors have a screen door in front of the, you should replace the screen doors. When you replace the screen door with a storm door, you provide your home with more insulation and energy savings. Screen doors, on the other hand, don’t provide additional insulation and they make your home very vulnerable to the energy loss.

7. Unplug the chargers you’re not using

You may not even realize this, but when you leave the chargers plugged into outlets, the chargers are still using energy even though nothing is charging. The amount of energy that they may use isn’t negligible. Your phone could be off the charger for a few hours and you may forget to unplug the charger. This won’t be too bad because the average charger consumes 0.26 watts of energy when it’s not plugged in.

However, this is the case of one charger. When you add computers, TVs, and appliances to the calculation, you get some big numbers. It is believed that 10% of your bill may be just energy you’ve spent with the plugged chargers no one was using. If you unplug all of your devices when you’re not using them, you’ll be able to save both your money and the environment.

8. Use fans

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Ceiling fans can be great to make your home more efficient. They are perfect for creating a gentle breeze that you can enjoy. Since they help the air circulate through your home, they are great both for the summer and winter. You’ll be able to save a lot of money on ceiling fans than you would on the air conditioner.

Speaking of fans, a vent fan would be a great choice for your bathroom. A quality ventilation fan can control moisture in the air while you shower. Not only that, but a ventilation van also controls mold and mildew growth. After showering, you should run your fan for 15 minutes to have the best results. With a good vent fan, you’ll be able to save up to 60% less energy than with some standard models. Don’t forget to duct the leads to prevent any moisture problems and enjoy your baths with no headaches.

Conclusion

Your home is the first thing you should upgrade if you want to switch to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. With these tips, you know exactly how to do it and how good the changes will be. All you should do now is start upgrading!

Emma-Williams-cEmma Williams is an Australian writer with a master‘s degree in business administration, who has a passion for anything lifestyle and design related. She spends most of her time redecorating and participating in house projects. As a great nature lover, her biggest pleasure is spending time in a small cottage by the river.

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