3 Steps to Make Your Home Energy Efficient

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It's no secret, Americans use a lot of energy. In fact, 65% of global warming directly comes from our desire to power everything from our toothbrushes to our homes. While making your home more energy-efficient requires dedication to reducing your energy consumption, lowering this consumption may be done by following three simple steps. Of course, this guide is only the beginning. To truly cut back your energy consumption, and save hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in energy costs, you must review all aspects of how your home demands energy.

Step One - Upgrade Windows

Did you know if your home features Energy Star-verified windows, you could save up to $501 per year in energy costs, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. The type of windows your home features directly determines the overall efficiency of your home. Although building supplies to upgrade windows can be costly, the longterm financial and environmental benefits are substantial. Consumers spend billions, $25 billion to be exact, due to inefficient home and business construction. Although upgrading windows is only one step toward an energy-efficient home, it's an effective and powerful change. Review the performance graph provided by U.S. Department of Energy to learn the best windows for your home based on climate and window location.

Interested in overhauling more than your windows? Hire a professional construction or lumber company to review your home and make recommendations for higher efficiency, which translates to lower monthly bills.

Step Two - Naturally Insulate With Plants

When consumers think of increasing their home efficiency, many consider what building supplies are needed to accomplish this goal. If you live in an older home with poor insulation, consider trees and shrubbery as a part of your energy-efficiency goal. Not only do these landscaping additions enhance home attractiveness, if placed correctly, it has a direct impact on energy consumption.

Plant deciduous trees, which are trees that leaf annually, on the western side of your home. During the peak of summertime heat, tree leaves effectively block infrared radiation, which would otherwise directly infiltrate your home. Establish thick shrubs against vulnerable portions of your home. Planting shrubs against bare exterior walls, especially if insulation is sub-par, helps keep cold blasts from fully infiltrating exterior walls.

Of course, you may the increase the overall efficiency of your home by renovating its existing insulation. A professional construction company is more than capable of insulating even the most ancient of homes. Add this with closely planted trees and shrubbery, and your home will not only be beautiful, but also highly efficient.

Step Three - Replace Lightbulbs

The common lightbulb. While this unimposing home fixture silently illuminates your home, it's likely costing you hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs. Eliminate this expense by switching all bulbs from traditional incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient designs, such as:

Light Emitting Diodes (or LEDs) - Saves up to 80% in energy costs when compared to a 60W incandescent bulb. Expect an average 25,000 hour lifespan. Costs an average of $1.00 per year in energy consumption. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (or CFLs) - Saves up to 75% in energy costs, and features an average lifespan of 10,000 hours. It's slightly more expensive to operate than LED bulbs, as its annual energy cost is $1.20.

Although enhancing home energy efficiency requires overhauling almost every portion of how the home is built and operates, some of the most substantial changes are the smallest. It's time to take control of not only your monthly and annual energy bills, but also how your home impacts the environment.

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