Energy-efficient homes save homeowners money on their monthly utility bills while improving their overall comfort by reducing drafty spots and extreme temperatures.
When we build new homes, we follow green building practices to ensure an efficient home design that will help reduce energy usage. As a result, green homes are both cost-efficient and sustainable.
When considering your next home or remodel, here are five easy ways to go green, reduce your energy bills, and save up to hundreds of dollars each year.
How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient
The first step to making your home more energy efficient is hiring a professional to assess your home’s energy performance. Energy audits identify where your home may be leaking hot and cool air and show you the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste and increase energy efficiency in your home. Some utility companies offer this as a free service.
Installing or adding insulation to a home’s walls, floors, and attic is typically one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy loss and improve your home’s energy performance.
Many types of insulation are available, including fiberglass batts, cellulose, spray foam, blown-in fiberglass, rigid foam board, and mineral wool. The type of insulation used will depend on where it needs to be installed, its thickness, and whether it needs to be sealed.
Like insulation, air and duct sealing provide an excellent bang for the buck for its low costs and significant energy savings. Air sealing involves finding where hot and cool air may be seeping out of holes in walls, ceilings, or ductwork and sealing them with caulk and weatherstripping to stop the air leaks. This also helps to improve comfort by eliminating drafts.
The best way to seal leaks is by using a combination of caulking and weather stripping. Caulk fills gaps between materials and seals around doors, windows, vents, pipes, electrical outlets, etc. Weatherstripping is used to seal cracks and crevices.
Upgrade Appliances and Electronics
Most home appliances and electronics use electricity. Thanks to technological advances, most appliances and electronics now have a high-efficiency counterpart. When in the market for a new home or remodel, look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label, indicating that an appliance performs the same function for less energy.
Simple things like changing to LED lights can reduce energy costs. Smart thermostats are an easy upgrade as well.
Tankless water heaters may also be an option, especially in larger homes or areas that don’t consume large amounts of hot water.
See our in-depth article on Smart Home Technology for more information.
Space Heating and Cooling
The energy to heat and cool homes typically accounts for more than half of all energy consumption. Like your home’s appliances, Energy Star has also created high-efficiency air conditioners, water heaters, and furnaces to keep your home at optimal temperatures while using significantly less energy.
Please view our portfolio to see examples of some of the finest homes in Northern Michigan.
The team here at Lakeshore Custom Homes would love to help you evaluate the best ways to “Go Green” on your next remodel project or new home. We have built LEED-certified homes and stay current on the best practices for energy-efficient home building. If you have any questions about energy savings and quality home construction or remodeling in northern Michigan, don’t hesitate to contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans.