Energy-efficient homes are far more attainable than the average homeowner is often led to believe. Improve your energy efficiency with various methods that are as simple or extensive as you desire. Feel reassured knowing every little step toward an energy-efficient home will help you save energy and money.
There are many ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, and the state of California has already made significant strides toward increasing the efficiency of its more energy-intensive industries. When you make energy-efficient improvements to your Orange County home, you help the nation’s most populous state decrease its total energy consumption, and you gain benefits for your home.
What Is Energy Efficiency?
Energy efficiency is when you optimize your energy consumption and only use the exact energy needed when accomplishing daily routines. You can continue to perform the tasks and activities that matter and use less energy while doing them. Reduce the amount of excessive or unnecessary actions that could be wasting energy within your house and see lasting benefits with energy-efficient practices.
When you choose to become more energy-efficient, you can make simple alterations or large-scale home improvements and still benefit from the results. While there are high-end methods you can explore for your home, you can even improve your efficiency today with a few quick and affordable changes in your everyday life.
6 Energy Efficient Methods to Use in Your Home
There are multiple different energy efficiency methods for homes. Whether you decide to adjust your current lifestyle with cost-effective habits or update your house with new renovations, the following steps will help you attain an energy-efficient home.
1. Adjust How You Control Your Home’s Temperature
Homeowners in any situation can find ways to optimize energy usage. Enhance the way you heat and cool your house with the following energy-saving adjustments:
- Clean and replace your air filters: Periodically check your air filters to ensure maximum efficiency. You want to establish a regular schedule for cleanings — aim for once every two weeks. New filters will boost the performance of your air conditioner, so prepare to replace filters whenever necessary.
- Install ceiling fans: Most ceiling fans will use less energy than air conditioning. Save during warm months when you install ceiling fans in your most-used spaces. Remember, use your ceiling fans as an alternative to other cooling methods. Avoid running the AC or leaving windows open when you turn on your fans.
- Consider programmable thermostats: Ensure your thermostat is always set to an appropriate temperature. Remind yourself to check the thermostat often and adjust it as needed. Generally, you can turn your thermostat down whenever you leave the house. Programmable thermostats will streamline this process for you and keep your home at an optimal and comfortable temperature.
- Close your curtains at night: When you draw curtains over your windows, the room will have better insulation during the cool night. This method helps if you keep your AC or ceiling fans on at night — you can run them at a lower energy level and save money.
2. Use Electronics and Appliances Responsibly
Form energy-efficient habits that will benefit you in the future. Remember to unplug any unused electronics, like laptops, hair tools, toasters and chargers. Items left plugged into the outlet will continue to consume energy even when they’re not in use. Computers are a primary source of this type of energy waste. If you need to leave a home computer unattended for extended periods, ensure you shut off the monitor or, even better, shut off the entire system.
Consider replacing your old appliances with efficient Energy Star-rated models. Over the past decade, there have been numerous advancements in technology. Provide the best for your home when you upgrade to appliances and electronics approved by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program.
3. Swap out for Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with advanced lighting technologies that save energy and compete in brightness. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are quick and easy solutions for improved energy efficiency in your home.
Energy-efficient LEDs and CFLs use about 65-80% less energy and can last three to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Save energy when you switch and choose from various colors, light levels and prices similar to what you expect from conventional options.
4. Alter Your Laundry Routine
Apply these three tips to your current laundry routine and improve your washer and dryer’s energy efficiency:
- Wash your laundry in cold water: Not only will you be able to save money and energy, but your clothes will be just as clean compared to washing them with hot water.
- Clean the lint from your dryer often: As you should with your air conditioner, form a habit of cleaning the dust and lint that gets trapped inside the filter. An abundance of lint can cause your dryer to use more energy than necessary when heating up.
- Air-dry your laundry: Whenever possible, you should choose to air-dry your laundry. Invest in a rack where you can drape or hang your washed clothes. When the weather is warm and sunny, consider drying your clothes outside on a line.
5. Tightly Seal Your Home’s Openings
About 30% of a home’s total heat loss occurs through its windows. This percentage only grows when you add a home’s other openings, like doors and garages, into the mix. A tightly sealed home will have many benefits, including improved indoor air quality, heightened comfort levels and reduced monthly utility bills.
Common places where drafts may occur in your home’s openings include:
- Inadequate weatherstripping around door perimeters
- Mail slots
- Underneath doors without door sweeps
- Window-mounted air conditioners
- Window frames
Install quality door sweeps and apply weatherstripping to the entire perimeter of any exterior entrance doors to ensure a tight seal. Use rope caulk on leaky windows to create a similar sealing effect — the smallest of cracks may equate to the energy loss of a fully opened window. Repair or replace any windows with significant gaps or openings immediately. Consider additional insulation for your doors and windows to boost your energy efficiency further, as well.
6. Install Energy-Efficient Window Treatments
A large portion of heat loss comes from the fact that many home windows are not adequately insulated. Make your windows energy efficient when you install a custom window treatment for your home.
Shutters, shades and drapery can all improve the efficiency of your current windows and are more cost-effective than other investments, like installing entirely new energy-efficient windows. Simply having a barrier for your windows will keep your home insulated and your energy costs low.
Shutters are an excellent energy-saving option for the modern homeowner. Compared to other treatments, custom window shutters make ideal insulators due to noticeably fewer design gaps. Shutters are installed tightly to the window frame, improving insulation and increasing your property value. Control the light and create a structured barrier between your home’s temperature and that of the outdoors. Custom-fitted panels will ensure your warm or cool air remains inside your home.
Energy-Efficient Window Shades
Shades can make your home more energy-efficient and offer a wide range for every homeowner’s needs. Choose from custom window shades like:
- Honeycomb/Cellular Shades: The most energy-efficient shades on the market, the honeycomb/cellular shades use an innovative honeycomb design to create air pockets for maximizing the insulation of heat. They also come with a wide range of fabrics, colors and textures to match your design preferences.
- Blackout shades: Custom blackout and sunscreen shades help you manage sunlight efficiently. With total light-blocking capabilities, these shades let you choose the right transparency for your home.
- Roman shades: Roman shades are a practical and attractive option for homeowners concerned with energy efficiency and design. These shades are made from various folded fabrics for a soft, classic look. Choose from semi-transparent to room-darkening fabrics to ensure your shades stop any thermal transfer.
Benefits of Energy-Efficient Homes
The benefits of energy-efficient homes are abundant, so the changes you make today will positively impact your home for the future. Advantages you will see from becoming more efficient include:
- Reduced heat loss
- Lower monthly costs and lower utility bills
- Increased property value
- Quality return on investment (ROI), sometimes immediately
- Advanced control over your home with efficiently designed systems
- Lower environmental impact
- Improved quality of living by creating a healthier, more comfortable indoor environment
Contact Shutter & Shade Shoppe for Energy-Efficient Window Treatments
Whether you’re building on your current setup or installing something brand-new, every step toward an energy-efficient home will help you save for the future. Shutter & Shade Shoppe would love to help you improve your energy efficiency with new window treatments. Insulate your home and ensure an optimized temperature all year round when you add new shutters, shades or drapery to your windows.
View the different window treatments we offer from the comfort of your home with a tour of our virtual showroom today. Then contact us to learn more about our window treatments and professional installation.