An energy-efficient home can be a big financial help to you. Most households spend a large chunk of their budget on their energy bills. This includes electricity, heating, and more. Remodeling your home so that it maximizes each bit of energy can save you a lot of money. It will be an expensive investment though. You may need to choose which improvements you want to prioritize first. Here are some potential changes that you can make to your house.
Passive Solar Home Design
The sun is a massive source of energy and it is free. You can use this to your advantage by remodeling your house to use it passively. This method is a great one since it doesn’t need any complex or special parts. All it takes is some smart positioning and available materials to get a home that can keep houses warm on even the coldest days.
For it to work though, you’ll need to make some changes. One of them is to have windows that let the maximum amount of light in. Older windows won’t work so you’ll need a vinyl window replacement service, which is one of the better options available. They are durable while also allowing for maximum heat retention. Besides the window, you’ll need a thermal mass to absorb all the heat from the sun’s rays. This absorption keeps the house cool during the day while radiating heat at night. Simple masonry walls and floors can work for this.
Change Your Roof
Your roof bears the brunt of the sunlight on your house. This means it can heat up a lot as the day goes by, which can make the interior uncomfortable. If you want to lower your cooling bill, then having a cool roof can be a great idea. Cool roofs have a design that makes them absorb less heat and reflect more light than normal roofs. To make this work, you need a combination of both materials and coatings. The coating for a cool roof is usually white or another highly reflective color.
Additionally, it usually provides a thick covering so that the UV light does not affect the roof. As for materials, some materials do not absorb heat so well. It will be up to you to choose the material that you want. Metals are not the best for cool roofs, but they can be made reflective enough for the job.
Another potential source of high energy bills is a leaky or drafty home. The escaping air wastes heat and allows the cold to come in during the winter months. During the summer, those leaks can reduce the effectiveness of your air conditioning. Taking steps to do some proper air sealing can do wonders for your house.
The main problem when it comes to air sealing is that the leaks are hard to find. The first step is to find all the potential leaks that you need to plug up. This might be a crack in your window frame or a badly-installed door. Check each part of your house, especially the attic. Once done, you’ll need to caulk or seal all those identified leaks. Additionally, you should consider adding some insulation. Foam can fill up spaces that caulk cannot handle and help with heat management, too.
Be careful about sealing though. This might cause air quality issues so you’ll want to install a carbon monoxide alarm in your house. Another issue is moisture. With seals and insulation, moisture build-up inside your house is a given. This can lead to discomfort and even mold to form. Get a dehumidifier and be consistent in lowering the moisture of your home as much as possible.
Upgrading Your HVAC Systems
Good HVAC systems can last more than ten years. The problem is that a decade is enough for various technologies to appear that make HVAC systems more efficient. If possible, you should be updating your HVAC units every decade. If you bought an old house, then you might need to update the current HVAC system immediately. There are a couple of specific upgrades that will be very good for your bottom line, though. One is to install a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. This is what hospitals use and can ensure that your home’s air quality is good. Another is a programmable thermostat, which allows you to better manage your home’s temperature.
An energy-efficient home is the best investment you can make. All the money you put in the upgrades will pay for itself in the savings you get for years to come.