Green buildings are booming and home builders and buyers are paying attention. New homes are built with tight insulation, efficient water features and appliances, and sustainable materials to appeal to eco-conscious buyers. With the growing interest in going green, new home tech is coming out all of the time, so it’s easier than ever to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Energy-efficient homes are designed to reduce energy consumption and waste. If the thought of upgrading your home sounds stressful for expensive, know that it absolutely doesn’t have to be! Here are 5 easy changes you can make to get started.
Install Light Blocking Curtains and Blinds
The morning sunlight doesn’t just interrupt your dreams. Sunlight also pours heat directly into your home, which can make your heating and cooling (HVAC) systems struggle to catch up. This is especially true if the window faces the South or West, where you’ll get the most sunlight.
Reflective curtains stop the heat from entering your home and reflect it away, preventing heat from becoming trapped. Heavy curtains can also prevent heat transfer, so even when the sun’s down your home can better maintain its temperature.
Replace or Repair Your Windows
Curtains can help prevent energy loss, but it still may be worth replacing old single pane windows for a more air-tight home. Windows with multiple panes provide additional insulation to prevent air from entering or exiting your home. There’s a huge variety of windows to choose from, so do you research to see what’s best for your home and environment.
If you don’t replace your windows then it’s still a good idea to check for any air leaks or gaps. You can easily repair most air leaks around your doors and windows with weather stripping or caulk.
Keep Doors Closed
The smaller the space, the easier it is to maintain a consistent temperature. Open floor plan homes and those with high ceilings are more difficult to heat and cool because there’s more air to treat.
When you keep doors closed, there’s less air circulation and your HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard to make your home comfortable. It’s also helpful to install door draft stoppers to prevent air from escaping underneath closed doors.
Upgrade Your Landscaping
Your yard can have a huge impact on your home’s energy consumption. The largest change you can make is to replace your grass lawn. Native landscaping is a popular alternative where you fill your yard with plants and wildflowers that are native to the area. This is great because there are almost no watering requirements and your yard will help feed native pollinators.
Clover and moss are other popular alternatives to grass. Both are easy to grow, soft, safe, and have no mowing or water requirements. You can purchase clover or moss to cover your yard with, or harvest it yourself.
Cover Your Roof
This project is a little more involved, but can help you save big on utilities. Roofs naturally see a lot of sunlight, and all of that heat is absorbed and can seriously heat your home. White and light-colored roofs reflect the sunlight so there’s not as much heat transfer between your home and outside.
If you prefer a dark-colored roof, you can buy a reflective coating to apply to your roof. You may also choose to take advantage of the sunlight and plant a green roof. These are roofs that grow vegetation over a waterproof layer on your roof to add insulation and reduce the amount of heat your roof projects into the area.
These are just a few of the many house upgrades that can help you conserve energy in your home. Learn more about energy-efficient home features and how you can upgrade your home below.
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