Maximize gains, minimize losses through energy efficiency
With a tough winter predicted, now is the perfect time to think about improving home energy efficiency. There are plenty of small energy-saving projects we can do. These include replacing weather stripping, sealing outlets, and caulking baseboards. However, there are other broader energy efficiency options out there that can result in great savings over time.
If you are remodeling your home, consider increasing energy efficiency through your choice of appliances, landscape lighting and insulation. Double or triple-paned windows, albeit a large cost up front, can offer big savings over the years. Increasing the insulation in roofs and exterior walls can also capture savings relatively simply while increasing comfort. Tankless water heaters, popular for years in Europe, improve efficiency, only heating the water as it is being used instead of constantly heating a 75 gallon tank.
The addition of solar energy options may create enough energy to eliminate a home’s electricity bill entirely. Check HOA rules for solar panel placement requirements. Then, determine whether leasing or owning the equipment is best for your project and budget. In addition, upgrading furnaces to high efficiency, programmable models can also greatly improve the efficiency of heating a home.
The latest efficient products combine connected, smart devices to learn our habits and provide optimal comfort while using the least amount of energy possible. Consult government websites for the latest state incentives and rebates before making large purchases. The Passive House Institute, which educates and advises how best to design houses that maximize energy gains while minimizing energy losses, has a great website. So, as you replace weather stripping this fall, think about ways to reduce your home’s energy bill. If we see the winter the experts are forecasting, we’ll need to save as much energy as possible.