With the economy still slow in many areas, and the instability in energy costs, it’s a good time for most home owners to consider ways of cutting costs with some simple remodeling updates. There are some simple ways to make your home more energy efficient, which will save you money while still keeping you comfortable.
Attic space is usually one of the least thought about and least energy efficient areas of your home. Unless you have a fully finished attic space, it is typically just empty air. All that empty space is a prime energy drain in your home, particularly if it was built before the 1990s. Modern advances and studies of energy use relating to energy efficient insulation recommend a minimum of 12-24 inches of insulation in your attic. Prior to the ’90s, homebuilders usually only used about 4 inches of insulation. This allows for major leakage of both heated and cooled air from your home, increasing energy bills due to your HVAC system, as well as long-term maintenance costs as your system has to work harder.
Additionally, for attic spaces that have interior drop down stairs, there is about a six square foot area that has no insulation at all. These doors allow heat to escape and cold air to sink down around the opening of the door, as well as through the door material itself. An easy and relatively inexpensive way to increase the energy efficient of your attic space is to install weather stripping around the interior attic door and install a full 12-24 inches of insulation in your entire attic space.
Older homes usually have aluminum windows, many of them single pane, which allow air leakage around the window fixtures. Single pane glass lacks the energy efficient air cushion of modern dual and triple pane installations, allowing too much heat in the summer and cold leakage in the winter. Installing all new windows, with the latest energy efficient glass and components is a bigger project than insulation. However, most of the work is done outside which makes it a fairly non-intrusive project, and it will save you money on your energy bills. In addition, it gives your home a quick and easy face lift, increasing curb appeal.
Light and Bright
Can lights using the old incandescent bulbs are not energy efficient and run through bulbs fairly quickly. Installing all new lighting may not be your best option, but you can still get the energy savings and beautiful light of LEDs with simple trim kits. The kits provide a conversion outlet that screws into the standard socket and accepts the LED bulbs. This gives you the same great light of a standard incandescent but saves you money.
Your home is your biggest investment. These simple tips can make that investment more energy efficient, saving you money and improving the look and comfort of your home.