Energy Efficient Home Design

House with Glass louvers, Japan / by StudioGreenBlue

Your home is a system. You can save money and improve the performance by taking measures that are cost – effective that will reduce the building loads, and then by installing systems as appliances that happen to be just the right size in order to meet those reduced loads.

The strategy that is the most effective for improving the energy efficiency of your household is to target the envelope of the home – walls, windows, attic, and doors. Once you have done that, you can improve the efficiency of the various systems, like heating and cooling, appliances, and lighting. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things that can be done to make your home one that is more energy efficient:

Energy Suppliers

You might happen to live in an area where energy suppliers are still regulated. Most of us do. That means that there will typically be a single source of a type of energy in the area and that is the one that you have to use. For example, in Mobile, AL, the only supplier of electricity is Alabama Power, so that is what people have to use.

However, some states are becoming deregulated. This means that you will be have more local energy companies to choose from. This can help you to be more energy efficient. How? Well, the energy companies will want to be competitive to be able to get your business. This means that most of them will have a variety of plans and pricing options. This will allow you to get only the energy that you need as opposed to getting and using more than what is necessary.

You might also choose to go with alternatives such as solar or water powered options.

Windows

You can be energy efficient and stylish at the same time. For example, take your windows and window treatments. Now, it is always best to get windows that are energy efficient and to ensure that they are properly sealed around the edges so as to not let the heat escape or get into your home.

Take that a step further with window treatments and here you can add your own personal style while increasing the energy efficiency of your home. You can choose to go with a material that is not fabric for example. Think of options such as bamboo.

There are other options when it comes to this type of thing too. Energy efficient window treatments can include more than just your draperies. Think awnings, blinds – both interior and exterior, reflective films, insulated panels, screens, overhangs, shades, and more.

Caulk Outside

Sometimes people find that once they put a fresh coat of paint on the outside of their homes, they feel warmer inside. This is because the person who painted the house probably took a bit of time caulking gaps, cracks, and other small holes in the exterior of the structure. While these small gaps and cracks might not seem to be much, you might be surprised at how much air they let out or into your home.

Insulation

Adding some new, additional insulation to your home in the ceiling, attic, and walls as well as using caulk or weather stripping on the windows and doors. This ensures that they are sealed properly and will block any air leaks and cold drafts, so that you will be able to keep the cool air inside in the summer and outside in the winter.

Appliances

Appliances that are older will not be as energy efficient as models that are newer. Replace these with ones that are Energy Star certified. This can save you quite a bit on your energy usage and lower your energy bills at the same time. Also, look for a water heater that is on demand only. This type only heats up the water when you need it and then it quits heating as opposed to constantly running to keep a supply of hot water. They are also easier to maintain than the old fashioned ones.

As you can see, it really doesn’t take much to ensure that your home is being more energy efficient. Of course, this is in no way meant to be a list of energy efficient tips that is all inclusive. Do you have tips that weren’t included on this list?

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