Energy prices are soaring and the environment is more polluted than ever. Many people want to live a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly life but it can be hard with older homes. New homes often have all sorts of features that allow them to look amazing but older homes can be really hard to adapt to these needs.
Home improvement to be more energy efficient is not just a great thing for the environment but also as a money saving technique in the long term. Of course, many of the improvements that will be necessary to make an older home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly may seem expensive up front, but they will pay off in the long run. In some cases, it can be a money saver right away. For an older home, it can also increase its value.
Many people aren’t really sure what improvements they can make in their home to make it better, efficiency wise. So, this is why we have outlined several ways you can make your home better for your wallet and your environment, the right way.
Solar panels are gaining more and more popularity. And in fact, there is no better way to make your home energy efficient than to install solar panels. Saving money by creating your own power not only makes your home more energy efficient but it also increases the value of your home. You will also be able to sell some energy if you create more of it than you spend.
Solar panels do cost a bit more at the outset, but there are incentives and tax deductions that will make it even less expensive. As a bonus, solar panels will eliminate your electricity bills and you can even sell the extra power. So, while the start-up price can be daunting, it all pays off in the end.
The value of your home increases because many people want solar panels and they want the savings that come from that.
You will be less reliant on fossil fuels and utility companies. This is actually a very good thing because the energy costs are predicted to soar in the next few years due to the lack of fossil fuels. When you can own your own solar panels, you are not reliant on that but rather yourself, which is really great.
If you want to take the most benefits from solar panels, make sure that you buy them instead of leasing them. There was a time when solar panels were very expensive but now they are really not that expensive and you can afford them easily.
Install a House Fan
Air conditioners are amazing but they spend a lot of energy and they are not really environmentally friendly. Also, air conditioners don’t always work that well. The hot air can stick around and air conditioners have to work harder and longer to keep your house cool or even cool it down. This requires even more energy and your bills could be huge.
House fans can be green and make your home energy efficient.
A house fan can solve this problem because it acts like an exhaust system and cools your home. These suck the hot air from your house and make the room cooler by taking the cool air from the outside. This makes your air conditioner run less to cool your home down and it gets your home to the temperature that you want. It saves your energy costs and makes your AC unit wear less.
Wash Your Clothes in Cold to Warm Water
The energy you need to wash the clothes goes into the heating of water. This is bad because it takes a lot of energy and it can cost you a lot. Washing with cold water means that you cut your energy costs and consumption and it can save more than $100 a year.
Detergents nowadays are so good that they can work both with cold and warm water. So, washing with warm water costs you both the energy and the detergent. There is no reason to waste all of that energy. Heavily dirty items can need hot water from time to time but essentially, you can do most washes with cool water.
Put Insulation in the Attic or Walls
Good insulation can let you control the climate of your home more effectively and make it colder or warmer as you need it to be. Without insulation, your air conditioner will not be able to keep your home cold enough for the summer and the heat will leak during winter. This is something you shouldn’t let happen because it can put a big dent on your budget.
Many homes already have strong insulation on their walls but they don’t have proper insulation, especially in their attic. And older attics are rarely insulated. This may not seem as important but insulating your attic will pay off a lot in heating and cooling costs.
Replace Old Windows
Nothing can be more wasteful than inefficient windows. If they are leaky, they can allow cold air and warm air to escape. This makes your equipment work much harder to achieve the temperature that you need. Windows themselves can sometimes make all the difference.
It’s often not so cost effective to replace windows just for the energy saving but if your windows are really old and leaky as they tend to be with older homes, you can actually save a lot of money by installing them. Make sure that you get the energy star windows. There is a small difference in price, but if your windows are really that old and that leaky, it will be easy to make that money back.
There are also many energy efficient windows on the market. For instance, there are double pane windows you can get. You can also make your current windows more energy efficient by installing storm windows or weatherstripping your windows. Make sure that they are also sealed. If they are not, make sure that you seal them to prevent any leaks and maintain your home in an energy efficient state.
Older homes are often poorly insulated so trees and vegetation in general can be a good and inexpensive addition. If you don’t have the funds at the moment to make your home more energy efficient, this can be your next best solution. The shade of the trees and the coolness of the shade itself will keep your home cooler in the summer. The shade can block radiation which heats up your home.
If you don’t have any vegetation around your home at the moment, planting on the west side can save you money on the cost of cooling your home. As a bonus, it will make your home look amazing and beautiful.
Planting vegetation and trees has beneficial effects on the environment as well.
Replace Your Light Bulbs
This may look like it’s a small thing to do but it actually means a lot for your bill and for the environment. Replace traditional light bulbs in your home with LED or CFL bulbs and you will save 75% of your lighting costs. People don’t really think about it but it ends up saving a lot of money. You spend more because of the bulb than because of the power.
These are very environmentally friendly and once you install them, you won’t have to worry about the next bulb for a very long time as some tests prove that LEDs for example, can last for 11 years even with constant use.
Install a Storm Door
Even if your doors are already energy efficient, a storm door can help you. They are installed in front of your existing doors and they generally have low emission glass which can protect you from heat or cold further. They can also help you reduce energy loss. This is a good idea if you don’t want to invest in a new door.
Tune Up Your HVAC
Properly running HVAC can help your home be more energy efficient. A yearly tune up can make sure that everything is running perfectly. It can keep your HVAC clean, adjust the blower and so on. It can also reduce the amount of repairs you have to do and make it more durable.
Use Energy Star Appliances
Appliances are a big source of energy usage in every home. Finding appliances that can save you energy consumption and lower your electricity bill. Look for those that have the energy star rating. This can include refrigerators, television and so on