Making your home energy-efficient has countless pros and zero cons. Not only will you increase the value of your home, but you will also get your money’s worth and help the environment. And whether you are currently building your home or just remodelling, this part should be at the top of your list. Here are some of the best ways to make your home energy-efficient and eco-friendly.
Cool steel roof
Cool steel roofs are designed to absorb much less heat because they are reflecting more sunlight than usual roofs. There are several ways to turn a roof into a cool roof, and those ways involve either highly reflective paint, sheet covering, reflective coating pigments, shingles or riles. It is a good investment since it is known that homes with cool roofs are around 50°F cooler than the regular ones during summertime.
Probably the biggest benefit for you is reducing the energy costs, since you won’t have to use air conditioning that much during summer. And not just that, a cool roof will also improve the comfort of spaces that aren’t air-conditioned, decrease the roof temperature and downsize the HVAC system, which will all extend the lifetime of your roof.
When it comes to the environmental benefits, there is a reduction of the urban heat island effect as well as a reduction in power plant emissions.
You will save thousands of dollars by installing solar panels. That might be hard to believe since they cost from 10 up to 35 thousand dollars. Believe it or not, solar panels will pay for themselves within not more than five years, since you will save from 20 up to 60 thousand dollars of energy costs over that period.
Besides saving money, if you are an American, solar panels are going to help you earn quite a tax credit – which definitely is a cherry on top when the tax season strikes.
Next, of course, even the birds know that solar panels are saving the environment. One single installation offsets around 180 tons of carbon dioxide over a 30 year period, which is equivalent to planting 10 regular football fields with trees – not many people can say they’ve done it, right?
Not to mention that fossil fuels will run out eventually – they have to, utility companies can dissolve, but our dear star definitely won’t go anywhere.
Finally, if you want to make the most of your solar panels, invest in high-quality SMA inverters that will protect your home against islanding and maximize the power point tracking.
If you want to fully renovate your kitchen, consider using materials such as scrap wood (it is a solid and high-quality hardwood that also looks nice in any space), bamboo (it grows insanely fast and there is too much of it) and cork (hypoallergenic, renewable, mold-resistant and sound-absorbing).
Next, when buying appliances, make sure they are Energy Star approved, since these appliances use from 10 up to 50 percent less energy than standard appliances. And speaking of the appliances, we all know that the most important kitchen appliance is definitely the fridge. A smart thing to do is to move it away from sunlight – when the fridge is close to the window and exposed to sunlight, it needs a lot more energy to keep the food cold. Also, make sure there is at least 8 centimeters between the wall and the fridge in order to ensure proper airflow.
Next, use ceramic, glass or silicone cookware because it requires lower oven temperatures. Speaking of the oven, use both racks at the same time while baking, and use the microwave if you are warming up food.
Finally, always go full-load with your dishwasher and scrap the remaining food from the plates rather than rinsing it.
Living room updates
There is one more thing besides the TV in our living rooms that is always on – the light. So you definitely have space to save money here. Replace all the old incandescent light bulbs in your home with LEDs or CFLs – this way, you will save 66% of energy automatically. Also, rely more on sunlight – there is no need for lights to be on during daytime. Open those blinds and let the sun enter your home.
Next, go with multi-socket extension leads and turn them off when not in use. During winter, if you have a fireplace, use recycled coffee grounds logs instead of wooden logs. They burn cleaner and produce a lot less creosote and carbon monoxide.
Finally, make sure all your new furniture pieces and rugs are made out of natural fibers.
Do you have some more tips? Let us know.