Ugh, is your house too cold in the winter? Is your air conditioning bill running up your electric bill? Is your heating bill taking up too much of your monthly budget? As an energy-efficient homeowner, you're going to need to make a few changes to your lifestyle.
You need to make some adjustments to your home to make it more energy efficient. Here are 15 ideas to get started with energy-efficient home design.
On the other hand, if you live in a cloudy area, you'll want your solar power system to be placed away from the roof. This will minimize the amount of light lost through reflection.
Once you've decided where to position your solar power system, you can move onto the next steps.
First, you'll need to figure out which type of solar panel you'd prefer. There are two types of solar panels: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Both types provide similar amounts of energy, but each has advantages and disadvantages.
Monocrystalline panels are typically more expensive, but they last longer. Polycrystalline panels cost less upfront, but they tend to break down faster.
Second, you'll need to calculate your total wattage requirements. To do this, multiply the number of square feet of your roof by the wattage needed to meet your daily electrical needs.
Third, you'll need to estimate the size of your solar power system. The easiest way to do this is to measure the width and length of your roof. Then add these numbers together to arrive at the approximate size of your solar power installation.
Fourth, you'll need to select a contractor who specializes in installing solar power systems. Your contractor will need to perform several tests before he or she can complete the job. These include measuring the voltage output of your existing wiring, testing the efficiency of your roof, and checking the integrity of your roofing materials.
Finally, you can begin planning your project. You'll need to schedule regular visits to your solar power installer to ensure everything is going smoothly.
When you install a green roof, you create a natural air barrier between your house and the outside environment. This means you reduce the amount of heat loss through your windows and doors. And since your house is cooler, you use less electricity to keep it comfortable. So, as you can see, installing a green roof helps you save energy.
But there's another benefit to installing a green roof.
It makes your house look better too!
Green roofs are beautiful. They're lush, healthy, and full of life. Your neighbors will notice your green roof and ask questions about it. When they do, you can share some tips about how to care for your green roof.
This is a win-win situation. Not only will you save energy, but you'll also improve your neighborhood reputation.
If you're thinking about installing an energy efficient heating and cooling system in your home, then you're definitely interested in learning more about the benefits of doing so.
But before you go out and install an expensive new system, there are some things you should consider.
For starters, if you're planning to replace your existing furnace or air conditioner, you may save money by simply upgrading to a newer model. But, if you plan to upgrade to a whole new system, you'll have to pay upfront costs.
Another factor to consider is whether you really need to upgrade to a new system. If you already have an older unit installed, you could just keep it running until it breaks down. Then, you'd only have to spend money replacing the old unit instead of buying a brand new system.
Finally, you need to decide which type of system you want to install. There are two basic types of systems: central air conditioning and heat pumps. Central air conditioning uses fans to blow conditioned air throughout your house. Heat pumps use refrigeration technology to transfer heat from outside air to inside air.
Central air conditioning is generally considered better for homes with large rooms. However, heat pumps are usually more effective at keeping small spaces warm during cold weather. So, depending on your needs, either option could work well for you.
Regardless of which type of system you choose, you'll still need to decide where to put it. The location of your system depends on several factors including room size, climate, and building code requirements.
If you're thinking about upgrading to energy efficient windows, then you're definitely going to want to consider replacing your old windows.
But before you replace them, there are some things you need to know.
For starters, you need to know whether you really need to upgrade to energy efficient windows. Energy efficiency is important, but if you already have plenty of insulation and air sealing, you may not need to invest in energy efficient windows.
Another thing you need to know is whether you can afford to replace your windows. If you're planning to sell your house soon, you may not be able to afford to replace your windows at the same time.
Finally, you need to know which type of window replacement is right for you. There are many different types of windows available, including vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, wood, and composite. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so you'll want to weigh these factors carefully before making any decisions.
Now let's talk about the benefits of upgrading to energy efficient windows.
Energy efficient windows save you money. They reduce heating costs during winter months and cooling costs during summer months. This means you spend less money on utilities each month.
They improve indoor air quality. When you install energy efficient windows, you remove pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from your home. These chemicals cause health problems such as cancer and asthma.
They protect your family. The glass in energy efficient windows blocks harmful ultraviolet rays, reducing the risk of skin cancers and cataracts.
They help the environment. Replacing your current windows with energy efficient ones reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
There are several reasons why you should upgrade to energy efficient windows, but the biggest benefit is that they save you money. So if you're ready to upgrade to energy efficient Windows, go ahead and contact us today!
f you're thinking about installing a rainwater harvesting system for an energy efficient home, here's some tips to help you decide if it makes sense for your situation.
First things first.
Before you install a rainwater harvesting system, you must determine whether or not you have enough water pressure to use it effectively. If you live in a dry climate, you may not have enough water pressure to pump water through pipes.
Next, consider the size of your property. The larger the area, the bigger the tank you need.
Finally, consider the amount of rainfall you receive each year. A large tank requires a lot of storage space, which means you'll have to store extra water during rainy days.
Now that you understand these factors, let's talk about the pros and cons of installing a rainwater harvesting systems.
1. Energy efficiency
Rainwater harvesting systems reduce the amount of electricity used to heat water. This saves you money on your electric bill.
2. Water conservation
When you harvest rainwater, you save water. When you conserve water, you protect our environment.
3. Saves space
With a rainwater harvesting system installed, you no longer need to store extra water. Instead, you can use the harvested water for landscaping purposes.
4. Easy installation
Installing a rainwater harvesting system is very straightforward. All you need is a roof overhang and a drain pipe.
Depending on the type of rainwater harvesting system you purchase, installation costs vary. However, the average cost ranges between $500 and $1000.
Maintaining a rainwater harvesting system requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Be prepared to spend at least 10 hours per month maintaining your system.
Some rainwater harvesting systems require a large footprint. Depending on the size of your property, you may need to invest in additional land.
Space requirements for a rainwater harvesting system depend on the type of system you select. Some systems require as little as 1 square foot of space. Others require as much as 50 square feet.
Many rainwater harvesting systems include drainage features. These features allow excess water to flow away from your house.
Some rainwater collecting systems produce noise. This noise level depends on the type of system purchased.
Cleaning a rainwater harvesting system after use requires special equipment. Make sure you have the proper tools before attempting cleanup.
Time required to clean a rainwater harvesting system varies depending on the type of system selected.
Storage tanks for rainwater harvesting systems come in different sizes. Choose one based on the number of gallons needed.
Power requirements for rainwater harvesting systems vary depending on the type of device chosen.
Size requirements for rainwater harvesting devices range from 3 inches to 12 inches.
If you're thinking about creating a garden or landscaping project, you may be wondering if there's anything special you can do to conserve energy.
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is installing inefficient lighting fixtures. If you're going to install lights in your yard, make sure you use energy-efficient bulbs.
For example, CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are better than incandescent bulbs because they last longer and consume less electricity. They cost a little bit more upfront, but over time, they save you money.
Another way to reduce your power bill is to plant trees and shrubs that require very little watering. Trees and shrubs absorb rainwater and release it slowly through their leaves, which reduces evaporation and conserves water.
Finally, consider planting drought-resistant plants such as cactus, succulents, and desert plants. These types of plants thrive in dry conditions and require very little water.
Now you know everything you need to know about saving energy in your backyard.
But wait, there's more!
You can also help the environment by recycling old appliances. Old refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, washing machines, and dishwashers can be recycled at local facilities.
If you're thinking about building a new house, you may be wondering if natural lighting and ventilation will help you save energy.
Natural lighting and ventilation are two important factors that affect the amount of heat and air conditioning needed in a home. Natural lighting and ventilation work together to keep your home comfortable year round.
For example, consider the following scenario.
Let's say you live in a sunny climate where temperatures rarely drop below freezing. If you use artificial lighting during winter months, you'll need to run your heating system longer to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home.
On the other hand, let's say you live in an area where winters are cold and snowfall is common. If you use artificial lights during winter months, you could easily overheat your home.
This means that natural lighting and ventilation play an important role in reducing your energy consumption.
How does natural lighting and ventilation work?
When sunlight shines through windows, it warms the room. This makes it possible for you to turn off your heating system earlier in the day. When sunlight hits a window, it bounces back out as infrared radiation. The warmer the surface, the more infrared radiation it emits.
Similarly, when sunlight strikes a wall, it bounces back out at a lower frequency. The cooler the surface, the fewer frequencies it emits.
These phenomena mean that natural lighting and ventilation create a thermal gradient between indoors and outdoors. Warm air rises, creating a positive pressure differential that pushes warm air outside. Cooler air sinks, creating a negative pressure differential that pulls cooler air inside.
Both effects cause air movement. Air moves toward areas of lower pressure and away from areas of higher pressure.
Air movement creates fresh air circulation throughout your home. Fresh air helps remove stale indoor air and reduces humidity.
To summarize, natural lighting and ventilation help you save energy by keeping your home naturally heated and cooled.
Now that we understand how natural lighting and ventilation works, here are some tips to help you maximize its benefits.
First, install large south facing windows. These windows allow sunlight to enter your home during summer months and block unwanted solar gain during winter months.
Second, install skylights to bring daylight deep into your basement, attic, or crawl space. Skylights provide indirect natural lighting and ventilation.
Third, install fans to circulate fresh air throughout your home. Fans move air from areas of lower pressure to areas of higher pressure. They also pull air from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower concentration.
Fourth, install vents to exhaust stale air from rooms and ducts. Vents push hot air out of your home and pull cool air in.
Fifth, insulate your walls and ceiling to prevent heat loss. Insulation keeps your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Sixth, install blinds or curtains to control direct sunlight entering your home. Blinds and curtains block direct sunlight and protect furniture and artwork from fading.
Seventh, install motion sensors to automatically open and close your shades. Motion sensors detect movement and automatically adjust the shade position.
Eighth, install timers to automatically switch on/off your lights. Timers automatically switch on lights when people arrive home and switch them off after everyone leaves.
Ninth, install smart thermostats to regulate your home's temperature. Smart thermostats monitor your home's temperature and automatically adjust settings based on occupancy.
Tenth, install programmable thermostats to automate your home's temperature. Programmable thermostats set your home's temperature according to the time of day.
Finally, remember to clean your windows regularly to avoid dirt buildup. Cleaning your windows removes dust and grime that blocks sunlight.
If you're thinking about building a house, you may be wondering if there's any benefit to planting trees and other vegetation around the exterior of your home.
Well, there is!
Trees and plants create shade which helps keep your home cooler during hot summer days. They also reduce energy costs by providing natural insulation against heat loss.
But wait! There's more!
Trees and shrubs also improve the look of your home. When you plant trees and other vegetation around a home, you're creating a beautiful outdoor living space. And who wouldn't want that?
Plus, trees and plants attract wildlife, including birds, butterflies, bees, and bats. Birds and butterflies are beneficial insects that eat pests such as mosquitoes and flies. Bats are important pollinators that help fertilize flowers and fruit trees.
So, if you're planning on building a home, consider planting trees and other vegetation near your home. Not only does it save energy, it makes your home look better too!
When you're designing your energy efficient home design, there's no doubt that you'll want to use eco-friendly materials. After all, who wants to live in a house full of toxic chemicals? But where do you begin?
Well, here's my suggestion.
Start with furniture and appliances that are designed to be used over and over again. This means that they're made from natural materials that are recyclable or reusable.
For example, if you're building a deck out back, you could go with a wooden deck instead of concrete. Wooden decks last longer and require fewer maintenance visits than concrete decks. If you're building a fence, you could go with cedar fencing instead of vinyl fencing. Cedar fences last longer and require fewer repairs than vinyl fences.
If you're building a countertop, you could go with granite instead of laminate. Granite counters look better and last longer than laminate counters. And if you're building cabinets, you could go with solid wood cabinets instead of particle board cabinets. Solid wood cabinets last longer and require fewer repair visits than particle board cabinets.
There are many other examples of eco-friendly materials that you can incorporate into your energy efficient home design. The point is that you can save money and reduce waste by going green.
Don't forget about appliances too.
Many appliances are made from toxic chemicals that can damage our health and environment. So, when you're shopping for appliances, ask yourself these questions: Is this appliance made from toxic chemicals? Can I recycle or reuse this appliance after its useful life? Does this appliance contain hazardous substances?
Now, let me tell you something else.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't buy any appliances at all. I'm just suggesting that you consider buying only those appliances that meet certain criteria.
For example, you may decide to purchase a refrigerator that meets Energy Star standards. These refrigerators are built to last and consume less electricity than traditional refrigerators. They also come with a five year warranty.
Another option is to buy a dishwasher that uses water efficiently. Dishwashers that use water efficiently are usually more expensive than standard dishwashers, but they cost less to operate and use less energy.
Finally, you may want to buy a washing machine that uses less energy. Washing machines that use less energy are usually more expensive than regular washing machines, but they cost less and use less energy.
To save money on energy bills, you need to seal any cracks or leaks in the exterior of your house. This prevents heat loss and helps keep your home cooler during summer months.
How does sealing work?
When you seal off small holes and cracks in your home's exterior, you reduce the amount of air circulating through those areas. The result is lower temperatures inside your home.
For example, if you have a leaky window frame, you could use caulk to seal it shut. Or, if there's a gap between two walls, you could fill it with foam insulation.
There are many different types of seals available. Some are made specifically for windows, others are designed to fit over doors, and still others are meant for gaps between floors.
Whatever type of seal you choose, you'll want to apply it correctly. Otherwise, you risk wasting money on ineffective solutions.
Let me give you some tips.
First, check your local building codes before applying any sealant. Second, make sure you test the sealant before applying it to ensure it works properly. Third, remember to clean up after yourself.
You can hire an energy auditor who will help you identify areas of your home that can be improved through energy efficiency.
An energy auditor will evaluate your home's current energy usage and recommend improvements that will reduce your energy consumption.
Once you implement the recommendations, you'll save money and improve your comfort level.
Now let me ask you something.
How often do you hear about energy audits?
I bet you never heard about them before reading this article. That's because most people don't realize that energy auditing is a real option.
But if you're interested in learning more about energy audits, here's some free info.
First, visit the U.S. Department of Energy's website. The department offers helpful resources including a list of certified energy auditors.
Finally, check out the National Association of Home Builders' website. This organization provides valuable information about energy efficiency, including tips on hiring an energy auditor.
So now that you know about energy audits, what are you waiting for? Start saving today!
Low-e windows and doors are energy efficient window treatments that reduce heat transfer through glass. They're especially effective at reducing heat loss during winter months.
But there's another benefit to low-e windows and doors. They look really nice too!
For example, here's my living room before installing low-e windows and door panels.
I had no idea that my house was so drafty until I installed low-e windows and a door panel. The difference is amazing!
Now let's take a closer look at the benefits of low-e windows and the different types available.
First, let me tell you something important.
When you install low-e windows and/or doors, you must use special low-e coatings. These coatings protect the glass against damage due to exposure to sunlight and moisture.
Second, low-e windows and low-e door panels work together to create a barrier between the inside and outside air. This reduces heat transfer through the glass, which helps keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Third, low-e windows help prevent condensation buildup on cold surfaces such as walls and floors. Condensation causes mold growth and makes indoor spaces damp and unpleasant.
Finally, low-e windows save energy. When you install low-e glass, you cut down on heating costs by blocking out harmful UV rays.
There are two basic types of low-e windows: single pane and double pane. Single pane windows only block light, while double pane windows block both light and heat.
Single pane windows are usually cheaper than double pane windows, but they aren't as energy efficient. Double pane windows are generally more expensive, but they provide better insulation.
If you live in a hot climate, consider installing low-e windows in every room. If you live in a colder climate, consider installing low e windows in rooms where you spend a lot of time indoors.
If you're thinking about building a new house, there are many things you should consider before making any decisions. One important consideration is energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency refers to the amount of heat that escapes through windows and doors during winter months. The lower the number, the better.
But how does weather stripping help?
Weather stripping helps keep cold air out of your house and warm air inside. This is especially helpful if you live in a colder climate where temperatures drop below freezing at night.
For example, let's say you live in Minnesota and you plan to build a new house. If you install weather stripping, you'll save $1,000 per year in heating costs. And that's just the beginning!
With weather stripping, you'll also reduce your cooling bills by as much as 30%. And since your house will stay warmer during the winter, you'll spend less time running the heater.
How much will weather stripping cost?
Weather stripping typically costs between $5 and $10 per square foot. So, for a 4500 sq ft house, you'd pay roughly $225-$450. But wait! There's more!
When you use weather stripping, you'll avoid having to replace your windows every 10 years. Instead, you'll only have to replace them every 20-30 years.
This means you'll save thousands of dollars over the life of your house.
Now that's something to smile about!
So, if you're planning to build a new house, you owe it to yourself to invest in weather stripping. It could save you hundreds of dollars each year!
Green cleaning products are safer alternatives to traditional household cleaners. They contain no harmful toxins, and they're biodegradable.
They're also better for our health and environment.
For starters, green cleaning products use natural ingredients instead of synthetic ones. Synthetic ingredients aren't as effective at removing dirt and grime, and they often cause skin irritation. Natural ingredients are safe and gentle on your body.
Second, green cleaning products are better for the planet. Traditional cleaning products pollute landfills and waterways. Green cleaning products degrade quickly, which means there's less waste going into landfills and fewer pollutants entering water supplies.
Third, green cleaning products are healthier for your family. Most conventional cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine bleach, and formaldehyde. These chemicals are linked to cancer, asthma, and respiratory problems.
Finally, green cleaning products are cheaper than traditional cleaning products. The average price of a gallon of conventional cleaner is $10-$15, whereas the average price of a gallon bottle of green cleaner is only $3-$5.
There's no doubt green cleaning products are the future of cleaning. So if you're ready to clean your house with green cleaning products, here's what you need to know.
If you're thinking about upgrading your home's wiring, there are several things you should consider before making any decisions. Here are some tips to help you decide which upgrades are best for you.
1. Do you really need to upgrade your home's wiring?
Before you spend thousands of dollars on home improvements, ask yourself if you really need them. If you're happy with your current home, then you may not need to invest in expensive wiring upgrades.
2. Is your house wired properly now?
To determine whether you need to upgrade your home’s electrical system, check out these three questions:
a) Are you experiencing frequent power surges?
b) Does your home use too many appliances?
c) Have you ever experienced a fire or explosion due to faulty wiring?
3. Can you afford to pay for the upgrades?
Don't go overboard buying unnecessary upgrades just because you can. Make sure you can afford the cost of the upgrades before you commit to them.
4. Will the upgrades improve your home?
Will the upgrades actually benefit you? There are two types of benefits:
a) Benefits to your family
b) Benefits to your home
5. Will the upgrades save you money?
There are two types of savings:
a) Savings to your wallet
b) Savings to your home
6. Will the upgrades meet code requirements?
Code requirements vary depending on where you live. Check with your local building department to ensure you comply with local codes.
7. Will the upgrades improve safety?
Safety is important, especially if you have children or pets. Ask yourself if the upgrades will improve your home's safety.
8. Will the upgrades improve energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency is important, especially if your home uses electricity. Ask yourself if the upgraded wiring will reduce your monthly electric bill.
9. Will the upgrades improve resale value?
Resale value is important, especially if selling your home soon. Ask yourself if the improved wiring will boost your home's resale value.
10. Will the upgrades improve the look of your home?
Upgrading your home's wiring can dramatically change its appearance. Ask yourself if the updated wiring will enhance the overall beauty of your home.
11. Will the upgrades improve security?
Security is important, especially if anyone could access your home through the upgraded wiring. Ask yourself if the updates will provide added protection against intruders.
12. Will the upgrades improve comfort?
Comfort is important, especially if everyone in your household needs to feel comfortable at home. Ask yourself if the improvements will create a better living environment.
13. Will the upgrades improve convenience?
Convenience is important, especially if people in your household depend on electricity to function. Ask yourself if the new wiring will allow you to operate certain devices more easily.
14. Will the upgrades improve accessibility?
Accessibility is important, especially if someone in your household has mobility issues. Ask yourself if the wiring upgrades will enable your loved one to move freely throughout your home.
15. Will the upgrades improve reliability?
Reliability is important, especially if something goes wrong with your home's wiring. Ask yourself if you can trust the new wiring to work as expected.
Energy efficiency is important.
If you're serious about saving energy, then you must educate yourself and your family about how to save energy.
I mean really, who wants to pay thousands of dollars every year just to heat their homes? Who wants to spend hundreds of dollars per month just to power their air conditioners? And who wants to waste water heating their hot tubs?
No one does.
But if you want to save energy, you have to change your habits. So here's my suggestion. Start educating yourself and your family today!
Start by learning about energy efficiency. There are many resources available online and offline. Here are some examples.
For example, there are free websites such as Energy Star and U.S. Department of Energy that provide information about energy efficiency.
There are also books written by experts that teach you everything you need to know about energy efficiency.
Finally, there are companies that specialize in helping homeowners reduce energy consumption. These companies offer services such as insulation upgrades, weatherization programs, and rebates on energy-efficient appliances.
Now that you understand the basics of energy efficiency, let me ask you another question. Do you feel ready to educate your family about energy efficiency? If not, now is the time to start.
Remember, energy efficiency is important. So educate yourself and your family today.
Window shades are a great way to make your home more energy efficient. By blocking out the sun's rays, they can help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Shades can also help reduce glare and protect your furniture from fading.
Installing window shades is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project. You'll just need to measure your windows and cut the shades to size. Then, attach the shades to the windows using the hardware that came with them. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to ensure a proper fit.
Once your shades are in place, you'll immediately start to notice a difference in your home's temperature. You may even find that you can lower your thermostat settings, which will save you money on your energy bills.
A fireplace insert is a great way to save energy and money. By using an insert, you can easily and efficiently heat your home. By doing so, you will be using less energy, which will save you money on your energy bill. In addition, a fireplace insert can help to improve the appearance of your fireplace.
To add an insert to your fireplace,first, measure the outer diameter of the firebox opening. Buy a length of insert tube that is just smaller than that diameter. Remove the fireplace grating. Under the firebox, drill a ¼-inch hole in the rear wall of the firebox.
Place the insert tube into the hole. Build a fire and let the insert warm up. The insert may not glow red with the first fire, but it will soon. As you know, it takes a lot of energy to heat a room directly and even more to heat an entire room indirectly.
If the insert is glowing red, take the fire out of the fireplace and slide the insert tube in and out of the opening to quickly expand the metal for a tighter fit. When the insert has cooled down, place the debris in a metal container and place the container outside a window or door to burn.
Energy efficiency doesn't mean spending thousands of dollars on fancy appliances or installing solar panels. Instead, it means taking advantage of the natural resources around us to create a comfortable environment without wasting too much energy.
For example, you can use plants instead of air conditioning, install low-flow shower heads, and turn off lights when you leave rooms. These simple changes can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Of course, you won't be able to completely eliminate your electricity bill, but these small steps can help you cut costs significantly. So whether you want to reduce your monthly bills or you just want to live in a greener home, energy efficiency is definitely worth considering.