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Top Tips to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Over the years, people became aware that energy sources such as oil or gas will not last forever. It is one of the main reasons why the world is increasingly shifting to sources of renewable energy such as wind, solar, and water.
The development of the renewable energy technologies has given us plenty of new and energy-efficient products used for homes and home appliances. This is important, as these products not only have positive effects on the environment, but can also help to save significant amounts of money when it comes to the house maintenance costs and monthly energy bills.
Let's take a closer look at how various things in our homes can be made more energy efficient.
There are some really simple tips you can administer yourself at home to help increase your overall home efficiency. For example, the drapery that you place around windows can be great insulators, as they can prevent heat from escaping through the window. It can be even more beneficial if the color of the drapery is white, as insulating linings can reduce heat gains by up to 33 percent!
Furthermore, you could opt for an energy saving blind, as these have a reflective lining which can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on an expensive shutter, a more affordable option is a window film, as it provides an inexpensive upgrade to the existing glass that you already have. Not only can it provide shade, but also helps to prevent UV rays and regulate the heat and light.
An infographic available here from Blinds 2go Limited states that when used correctly, energy-efficient windows can reduce the heating and cooling costs of the average homeowner by up to 25 percent!
The roof is another very important element of your home that you should ensure is as energy efficient as possible. On average, the roof accounts for 25 percent of heat loss for a typical house. Therefore, as much as possible needs to be done to prevent this. The more efficient roofs out there have the potential to reflect around 65 percent of solar energy away from the house.
The conventional, non-efficient roof materials that are put on the average household will only reflect around 5-15 percent of solar energy. One of the best materials that can be used on a roof is white thermoplastic, as this can reflect 80 percent or more of the sun's rays and emits at least 70 percent of the solar radiation that the roof absorbs.
Some countries are working hard to make sure that new homes are as efficient as possible. For example, California became the first U.S. state to require solar panels installed on almost all new homes that will be built after 2020.
Other tips to consider when improving the efficiency of your roof is to work on the insulation that is under the roof, as you can save up to 20 percent of the energy bill just by having good roof insulation. You could also try using a cool roof coating, improving the ventilation, or using metal roofing.
On average, around 30-40 percent of the heat in a typical house is lost through the walls, with 7.6 million homes in the UK with solid walls not having any insulation. There are some simple improvements that can be made to help reduce this heat loss.
Installing wall insulation in your home can reduce the heat loss by 67 percent. Thermal insulation reduces the amount of fuel needed for heating, effectively lowering the levels of CO2 and SO2 in the atmosphere.
Homes built with walls with wooden frames can reduce annual energy consumption by 18 percent when compared to the steel frames that are sometimes used, and by 10 percent when compared to CMU walls.
Improving the energy efficiency of a door wouldn't necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to improve the efficiency of your whole house, but it can actually have a huge impact. An energy-efficient fiberglass door that does not have a window is five times more insulating compared to a wooden door and has the potential to save you up to 15 percent on energy bills. Investing in just a slightly more expensive "Low-E" glass door can reduce energy loss by 30-50 percent.
If you don't want to buy a whole new door, then simply repairing and weather stripping your door can help make your house up to 20 percent more energy efficient.
These are just a few things you can do to make your home more energy efficient. To start, you could just make some small changes, such as sealing any leaks, switching to LED bulbs, or installing a new thermostat.
Many of the new homes built around the world are built with efficiency in mind, and as more people become aware of the rising global problem with wasted energy, they will start doing their best to improve the current state of their homes.
Megan Arevalo, community director and writer for Websitebuilder.org, lives in Portland, Ore., with her husband and two young children. When she isn't called to the duties of motherhood, she creates and manages content for Websitebuilder.org. She is passionate about social media, website building, writing, photography and, of course, her children and husband.