When you think of energy efficiency, you may immediately picture renewable, like solar panel installation. While it’s effective, it can also be costly.
You can still lower your utility, use less energy, and even help save the planet without breaking the bank. Begin with these ideas:
1. Replace the Windows with Vinyl
The reason why your electric bills might skyrocket is your window. It might be retaining or inviting a lot of heat, so in the summer, you turn the air-conditioning unit on full blast.
One way to make them energy-efficient is to replace them with materials like vinyl. It offers better insulation than aluminum, which can conduct heat. It also minimizes heat transfer, depending on the season. For example, during winters, vinyl can trap heat inside the room, so you can lower the heater.
According to the 2020 Cost vs. Value report, the average spending on vinyl windows replacement is $17,000, but you can also recoup up to 70% of the amount.
The cost can also vary between cities and regions. Installing vinyl windows, for instance, could be worth almost $18,000 with a higher-than-national-average rate of return of 76.6%.
2. Use a Thermostat
A thermostat is one of the underrated energy-saving tools in the United States. It is a system that senses the room’s temperature and adjusts HVAC units, like air conditioners and heaters.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), a thermostat could save you at least 10% annually on cooling and heating when you set it back between 7 and 10 degrees from its normal setting for at least 8 hours per day.
Many thermostats these days are “smart.” You can already adjust or change the settings while you’re away using a mobile device and an app. This way, you can maximize its performance.
3. Improve the Ventilation of the Attic
If your home feels hotter than usual, especially during the summer, perhaps you need to look closely at the attic. This area can trap a lot of heat, which cannot get out. It will only push your air-conditioning unit to work harder, which means you pay more electricity.
A simple way to solve this problem is by using an attic fan. It drives out heat by pulling it from the attic. However, you need to install this correctly. Otherwise, if it blocks vents, it can also suck in the coolness of the air conditioner.
4. Use LED Bulbs
Incandescent and halogen bulbs can help you achieve that warm soft glow, especially in the evening, but they can also drain your money. If you are trying to save, change them with light-emitting-diode (LED) bulbs.
DOE shared these bulbs could use up to 75% less energy than an incandescent. The light also doesn’t burn out fast. The average lifespan is about 25 times longer than the traditional options.
LEDs now are also available in various designs, sizes, and even colors. You can play with lighting textures for different areas of your home.
5. Seal the Gaps
Appliances like air-conditioning units and heaters rely on ambient (or environment) temperature. If the space is hot, then you crank up the AC. During the winter, you might abuse the heater because of the frigid cold.
You might have these temperature fluctuations, though, because of the gaps between doors, windows, and even ceilings and roofing. No matter how small, they can allow either heat or chilly air to escape. Sealing them can already do wonders for energy savings.
Energy efficiency need not be a lofty goal or an expensive venture like a solar panel installation. These ideas will tell you minor changes can mean a lot toward spending less on electricity and taking care of the environment.