There are a variety of reasons why the average homeowner might want to improve a property’s energy performance. Perhaps you are looking to cut your carbon footprint in order to protect the environment for future generations. Or maybe you want to save some money on your monthly utility bills. You might be keen to set a good example for your kids or you could be supporting green technology. Whatever your reasons for wanting to improve energy performance in your home, however, you might not know quite where to start when it comes to pinpointing problem areas, addressing waste, and making your structure more energy efficient. Luckily, there is no shortage of options when it comes to seeing improvements where your energy consumption is concerned. Here are some strategies you might want to try in your home.
- Monitor systems. You’ve no doubt heard of smart home technology, whereby computers and mobile devices are used to control household electronics including the alarm system, door locks, lighting, the thermostat, and even appliances and entertainment systems. But the beauty of these whole-home systems is that you can also hook up sensors that allow you to monitor energy draw so that you can find ways to adjust your consumption and optimize performance.
- Programs and remote controls. If you decide that smart home controls are right for your house, you’ll be happy to discover that you have many options for utilizing this system in the service of energy savings. You may be able to set up schedules for certain systems to ensure that they’re not in use when you’re not home (like the thermostat or lighting, for example). Or perhaps you’ll want to schedule appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine to run at specific times in order to avoid usage during peak hours, when prices are often higher. And if you left the lights and the TV on when you dashed out of the house, you can use the remote function on your smartphone or tablet to turn them off.
- Upgrade electrical. If you live in an older home, especially one that has not seen electrical upgrades in some time, it may be in your best interest to think about updating the wiring, junctions, and other electrical components in your home. For one thing, older homes were not designed with modern users in mind, and they may not be able to handle the demand of so many electronic devices. But older systems can also be less energy efficient than newer products. So an upgrade may be in order if you want to improve energy performance.
- Insulate. A home that isn’t airtight can definitely reduce energy efficiency, so it’s probably a good idea to utilize weather stripping, sealants, and insulation in order to address leaks and make your interior temperature easier to regulate with less energy expenditure.
- Perform a home energy audit. It’s not hard to guess the benefits of home performance evaluations, and hiring a professional to conduct a home energy audit can help you to find areas of waste so that you can take the steps needed to improve energy performance. Following inspection and testing you’ll receive a detailed accounting of areas where energy waste is occurring so that you can make necessary changes to ensure a more energy-efficient home.