Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to perform the same task – that is, eliminating energy waste. Energy efficiency brings a variety of benefits: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing demand for energy imports, and lowering our costs on a household and economy-wide level.
Improving your home’s energy efficiency will help you:
- Save money on energy bills.
- Create a healthier living environment as it prevents greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
- Increase the comfort level in your home with better air distribution and less noise.
- Contribute to a cleaner environment by using less energy and increased efficiency of energy production.
Here are nine key features found in most energy-efficient homes:
- Home insulation. Want a quieter, more comfortable home? Home insulation will help you get just that. It will also reduce your heating and cooling energy costs.
- Window replacement. Double pane, low emissivity (low-E) windows can also reduce outside noise, drafts, and heating and cooling costs.
- Solar thermal. These systems harness the power of the sun to both heat water and the home.
- Air sealing. Reduces drafts, saves energy costs, and keeps must, mold and allergens out.
- Solar electric panels. Converting sunlight into electricity reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuel. Solar can immediately lower your energy costs and protection from rising electricity rates.
- Energy-efficient lighting. Replacing incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient CFLs and LED lighting can reduce energy use in homes by 50-75%.
- Duct sealing. If your furnace turns on and off, or if you have some rooms that are too hot or too cold — these are telltale signs that your ducts may be leaking. (The average home duct system leaks 30% or more.) Properly sealing the ducts increases energy use by efficiently directing the air inside your home.
- Energy Star appliances. New Energy Star model appliances (washer, dryer, and refrigerator) can reduce the amount of energy use by half, compared to models that are over 10 years old.
- Efficiency water heaters. Reduce your monthly water heating bills by selecting a high efficiency or a tankless water heater.
Besides the obvious financial savings, maintaining an energy-efficient home will give you peace of mind, knowing that you are doing your part to ensure a healthy environment for future generations to come.