Purchasing a home and taking a mortgage is one of the biggest decisions people make in their adult lives. Most homeowners focus on the property’s location, proximity to a good school district, and amenities like shopping centers. However, in our ever-growing community of green consciousness, home energy efficiency is moving up the list. An energy-efficient home is more important than ever. Here’s what to look for when assessing your home’s energy efficiency.

How Energy Efficient is Your Home?

Do You Have Solar Panels to Conserve Energy?

Solar power is a renewable energy source. Installing solar panels in your home dramatically cuts your energy costs. The Department of Energy says that many homes with solar panels get around 40% of their energy from the sun. They might have a high upfront expense, but you’ll recoup them in the long run.

Typically, it takes around 10 years to recover the cost of the system from your energy savings. A solar installation also boosts the resale value of your home by approximately 4%.

Do You Use Smart Meters and Devices?

Smart meters and devices optimize your home’s energy expenditure. Energy Star analysis states that a smart thermostat can save 8% on your electricity bill for the season.

Smart devices can turn off the lights when you leave or enter the home. These devices allow easy management of your home’s electricity consumption through an app on your phone.

Do You Optimize Appliance Efficiency?

The fridge is one of the biggest consumers of electricity in your home. Having a refrigerator with an Energy Star rating can save you 15% on consumption over uncertified devices. An Energy Star-certified TV will use approximately 50% less power than its counterparts.

Installing a heat pump in your home is more efficient than using a furnace. A heat pump extracts heat from the outside air and transfers it inside your home. In summer, it can provide cooling by moving heat from inside to outside, working like an air conditioning would.

Adding a tankless water heater to heat water is approximately 24% to 34% more efficient than conventional systems. A tankless water heater saves energy and gives you hot water instantly without a storage tank.

Energy-efficient appliances don’t cost more than conventional systems. However, they make a big difference in your annual energy expenses. If you’re in the market for a new appliance, check the Energy Star rating. It’s usually visible on the doors of fridges or somewhere else on the appliance that’s readily available for viewing.

Are Your Windows and Home Insulated?

Call a property inspector if you recently purchased a home and don’t know if it has the optimal insulation. They will examine the shell of your home to determine if it’s properly insulated. Get an energy audit done to identify the issues that would benefit from energy-efficient upgrades, especially to older homes.

Adding insulation to the roof can reduce the amount of energy needed to heat or cool your house. Air sealing reduces drafts and heat loss by eliminating air leaks. It does not eliminate the need for proper insulation.

This is often done around:

  • Chimney
  • Plumbing
  • Recessed lighting
  • Attics

Installing insulated windows can also help lower energy consumption. This means you will save money on your heating and cooling bills. Both of these improvements can make your home more energy efficient. Therefore, saving you money.

According to the EPA, proper sealing and insulating of a home can save between 11%-15% on energy requirements. Saving you money on both heating and cooling the living space. Windows can account for up to a 35% loss in heat during the winter. Ensure the windows in your home have certification from the National Fenestration Rating Council or Energy Star.

Other Considerations For An Energy Efficient Home

While it might be an afterthought to some homeowners, the color of your roof can play a huge role in your home’s energy efficiency. If you have a light-colored roof, it reflects sunlight, keeping your home cooler in the summer to reduce your energy cooling costs.

Strategically planting trees around your property to shade the windows also cuts cooling costs.

Understanding Green Certification

While each of the factors discussed plays a significant role in optimizing your home’s energy efficiency, it’s worthwhile noting that Energy Star offers whole-home energy efficiency certification. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for residences is an initiative managed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

This program has certification criteria and an independent scoring system that certifies buildings. The certification criteria are included in what we discussed in this post. It may also include green initiatives in home design, such as harvesting rainwater and reusing greywater.

Creating an Energy-Efficient Home

Consider the initiatives outlined in the article and how they apply to your residence. The average home electricity bill was $149 per month in September 2023, and this cost is rising in 2024. With inflation making a comeback in Federal Reserve CPI data, we can expect these costs to increase during the year. Optimizing your home with energy efficiency upgrades can go a long way to mitigating your annual household energy costs.

Discount Window and Door of Omaha – Window Replacement Company

At Discount Window and Door of Omaha, we are committed to providing the best quality doors and replacement windows. We employ the most skilled installers to ensure the highest standard of quality service. Our Omaha door and window installers are highly trained, certified industry professionals with years of experience, including some second and third-generation employees.

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