You may want to make your home more energy efficient for many reasons: lowering your utility bills or reducing your carbon footprint. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to make your home more energy efficient in several ways.
Whether you live in a brand new home or a Victorian, you can take plenty of steps to make it more energy efficient. The most obvious include lowering your thermostat by a few degrees and taking steps to draft-proof doors and windows.
You can also make lifestyle changes by unplugging electrical devices or turning appliances off rather than using standby mode. In addition, you can shorten showers, skip baths, and fill a thermos, so you have hot water on hand throughout the day. But those are small changes. You might want significant changes that really lower your energy bill. Here are some simple and cost-effective strategies.
Insulation: Staying Warm and Dry
Insulation is essential to make a home energy efficient because it helps to reduce heat transfer between the interior and exterior of the home, reducing the need for heating and cooling systems to work harder, resulting in lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
However, it’s also important to note that unlevel homes can negatively impact energy efficiency. Gaps in insulation can occur in areas where the walls or floors are not leveled due to foundation issues, leading to energy loss and higher energy bills.
The costs of using different insulation solutions can vary based on several factors, such as the material used, the size of the home, and the location. For example, some common insulation materials include fiberglass, cellulose, spray foam, and rigid foam, each with advantages and disadvantages.
That’s why, before making any decisions, research your options and determine which will provide you with the most bang for your buck.
If you have a loft or attic space, ensuring enough insulation will help make your house far more energy efficient. It’s affordable and effective, and as far as solutions go, it is one of the least disruptive options you can choose.
Several types of insulation can be used for an attic, but some of the most common types are blown-in, batt, and spray foam.
Blown-in insulation, also called loose-fill insulation, comprises small particles of materials such as fiberglass, cellulose, or mineral wool blown or sprayed into the attic space. This type of insulation can be effective for filling small gaps and crevices and is typically installed using a machine.
Batt insulation, or roll or blanket insulation, is made of long strips of fiberglass, mineral wool, or cotton pre-cut to fit between the attic joists. This type of insulation is relatively easy to install. It can be a cost-effective option but may not be as effective as blown-in insulation for filling small gaps or uneven surfaces.
Spray foam insulation is another option for attic insulation. It involves spraying a liquid foam material onto the attic surface, which expands and hardens into a solid foam layer. This type of insulation can provide an excellent air barrier and has a high R-value per inch, resulting in long-term energy savings, but it can be more expensive than other options.
Experts believe as much as a quarter of your heat escapes through uninsulated or poorly insulated roofing. It should be at least 12 cm thick and up to 30 cm. It’s unlikely to be a DIY job because there may be additional flooring requirements. There are also damp risks, so it’s best to use a professional before taking this step.
Your walls provide an escape from heat (and AC), so installing additional insulation in your cavity walls can help reduce how much it escapes. Whether you have cavity walls will likely depend on when your home was built, the newer a home is, the more likely it is to feature cavity walls. You will require a professional to tackle cavity wall insulation.
Cavity walls are typically insulated with blown-in insulation, which is also known as blown-in cavity wall insulation or blown-in loft insulation. This type of insulation is made of tiny particles of materials such as mineral wool, fiberglass, or cellulose, which are blown into the gap or cavity between the interior and exterior walls.
Blown-in insulation is an effective way to insulate cavity walls because it can fill the entire cavity space and create a continuous insulation layer. This helps to reduce heat loss and improve the energy efficiency of a building. Blown-in insulation is also relatively easy to install and can be installed quickly and efficiently using specialized equipment.
If you have solid walls, you can still add insulation. The difference between insulating cavities and internal walls is vast. With the former, foam is injected to create insulation. With the latter, boards are fitted to the walls to create insulation. It will reduce the size of your rooms, and you will likely need to refit sockets and other fittings and accessories.
Insulating internal walls is not as common as insulating exterior or attic spaces. Still, when it is done, it is typically achieved using one of two methods: batt insulation or blown-in insulation.
Batt insulation is made of long strips of material, such as fiberglass, mineral wool, or cotton, that are pre-cut to fit between the studs or joists of a wall. This type of insulation is relatively easy to install. It is a cost-effective option, but it can be challenging to install correctly, especially on existing walls that are already finished.
Blown-in insulation is also an option for insulating internal walls. In this method, tiny particles of insulation material, such as cellulose or fiberglass, are blown into the wall cavity using specialized equipment. This method is best suited for unfinished walls but can also be used in existing walls with some modification.
Windows: Drafty is Out
Double or triple-pane windows will significantly affect your home’s energy efficiency. New windows are an excellent option for making your home more energy efficient; they also radically transform the look of your home. It also makes your home a more attractive prospect when you put it on the market.
Insulating windows can help to reduce heat loss and improve energy efficiency in a home, but it is typically achieved using weatherstripping or window film rather than traditional insulation materials.
Weatherstripping is a material that is used to seal the gaps around the edges of windows to prevent air leaks. It can be made of various materials, including vinyl, foam, and metal, and is typically applied to the bottom and sides of the window frame using adhesive.
Window film is another option for insulating windows. This thin, transparent film is applied to the interior surface of the window using adhesive. The film can help reduce heat loss and block UV rays while allowing natural light to enter the room.
It is important to note that traditional insulation materials like fiberglass or foam are not typically used for insulating windows. These materials are better suited for insulating walls, floors, and attics, where they can create a continuous layer of insulation.
Solar panels: Let the Sun Shine
Solar panels are an excellent way to harness the power of the sun to use as electricity in your home. You can generate your electricity, and it’s a renewable energy source. It is an expensive endeavor, but it is far cheaper today than ever if you can swing it. Many local governments provide tax credits or breaks to incentivize solar panel installation.
Heating system: Staying Warm and Toasty
You can upgrade and choose an eco-friendly heating system for whatever source you rely on. Not only will it operate more efficiently, but it will also lower your bills, and it’s an attractive option for prospective buyers.
You can take other little actions that can add up, such as switching to LED bulbs and using water-saving plumbing appliances. Some companies will audit your home to determine how energy efficient it is and what steps you can take to improve this. There are also online checklists you can work through to carry out a self-audit, which is an excellent place to start.
Summing up the Savings
Making your home more energy efficient can save you money on utility bills, reduce your carbon footprint and provide comfort. The use of insulation, from blown-in insulation and batt insulation to spray foam insulation, can reduce heat transfer between the interior and exterior of the house, resulting in lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
Ensuring that the attic, cavity, and solid walls are properly insulated is an affordable and effective way to reduce energy consumption. Double or triple-pane windows also significantly affect the home’s energy efficiency. Researching different options and determining which will provide you with the most cost-effective energy savings before making any decisions is essential.
If you’re looking for an energy-efficient home to call your own, let our experienced realtors at Eng Garcia help you today.