Being energy efficient not only helps keep your costs down, but it’s also really good for the environment. The less energy we can waste collectively, the better off we all are. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some great home upgrade projects that you can easily tackle on your own (or hire a professional) to help increase the energy efficiency of your home. There are many more tips and tricks out there, but this is a good way to get started.
1. Switch to LED Lightbulbs
This might seem obvious, and probably not the first time you’ve heard this, but it’s true. LED light bulbs use a significantly less amount of energy in comparison to incandescent light bulbs. In fact, in some cases you could reduce your energy output in your lighting by up to 90%! That’s a drastic difference in such a small change. Much of that savings is directly related to the amount of heat output created by the light bulb. LED bulbs do have a slightly decreased light volume output, but the difference is small and usually worth the energy savings.
Here’s a video that shows just how much energy can be saved using LED bulbs.
2. Replace Weather Stripping
The weather stripping on your door is what creates that suction when you close your door. It helps prevent energy loss through the small gaps in your entryway. Did you know that’s it’s suggested to replace your weather stripping every 2 years? It’s an easy DIY project and can really help increase the efficiency of your entryway.
3. Upgrade to Low-E Glass
In Summer, Low-E glass:
- Reduces direct sun rays
- Reduces cooling loss
- Blocks re-radiated solar heat
- Filters UV rays
In Winter, Low-E glass:
- Allows solar energy in
- Reduces as much as 71% of heat loss
- Reduces drafts and cold spots
Speaking of your entryway, another great way to increase your doors efficiency is to upgrade your glass to Low-E. Low-E glass is designed specifically to help keep heat from transferring through your door and can save up to 71% heat loss. It will reflect the heat back towards where it came from. Keeping the heat inside or outside depending on the season, so you’ll get energy efficiency year around. Low-E glass is available in clear, decorative, and enclosed blinds, and also an easy DIY project in less than an hour.
And right now, if you buy new decorative door glass, you can get a free weather stripping kit!
4. Get a Programmable Thermostat
The latest and greatest thermostats have made it easy to make sure your energy is being spent efficiency. You can now control these anywhere you are from your phone and program different temperatures for different days and times. That way you’re not heating / cooling an empty house. Programmable thermostats are a non-expensive way control how you spend your heating / cooling energy and can rake in the savings on your energy bill.
5. Open Your Doors for Fresh Air
When the season is right, turn off your fans and instead open up your doors. Putting retractable screens on your entryways and opening up the doors allows fresh air to move throughout the house. You’ll save by not running fans or your furnace or A/C, all while enjoying fresh air throughout the house. The Brisa Retractable Screens can fit on any standard entryway and take less than 30 minutes to install.
6. Use Low-Flow Faucets
Water isn’t necessarily energy, but it’s a resource that we can be more efficient with. A lot of water is wasted from faucets that allow too much water to flow through them while in use. You can save a lot of water by instead switching to low-flow faucets and shower heads which will reduce the amount of water that is flowing while in use. By doing this, and being conscience about how long you leave your faucets on, you can really trim down the volume of water you use on a day to day basis.
7. Add Insulation
This one may seem obvious, but it turns out that nearly half of the homes in the United States are under insulated, especially in the ceiling. Heat rises, so poor insulation in the ceiling is allowing your heat to escape too easily. Insulation can be an inexpensive way to really make sure your have an energy efficient home.
8. Tactical Landscaping
Landscaping looks great when it’s done right, but you may not know that being strategic with what plants you use and where you position them can have a big impact on your energy bill. But utilizing tactical landscaping, you can use the shade produced by your plants to prevent the sun from turning your home into an oven. Properly placed plants can help reduce energy cost and increase savings in the long run.
9. Add a Storm Door
Storm doors are a great way to add an extra layer of insulation to your doors. The entryways are a huge escape for heat, so by adding a storm door, you are adding another layer to keep that heat in. Storm doors can also come in Low-E glass which increase the efficiency even greater. Storm doors can be added by any DIYer in less than an hour and can make a huge impact on your entryways energy efficiency.