Looking for ways to save some money on your power bills by improving your home's overall energy efficiency? Here are three easy ways to do just that:
Have Your Windows Inspected, Repaired, and Insulated
Cracks and chips in your home's glass windows can increase air flow and decrease your overall energy efficiency, so it is important to have a professional inspect and repair your windows if they're more than a few years old and/or you notice damage to any of them. Your service technician should be able to take care of basic glass repairs in older windows for somewhere between $200 and $500.
More in-depth repairs and restoration work can cost a couple thousand dollars. But every penny you spend on repairs should be well worth the investment when you add up your energy savings after a few years. Your glass repair technician may be able to install weatherstripping on your windows too, which will further improve your energy efficiency and protect your home from unwanted drafts. If they aren't able to install weatherstripping, you can use caulking to seal the windows between the glass and frames then apply insulation film to the glass itself.
Not only will insulation film improve the energy efficiency of your windows, but it will protect the floors, walls, and furniture inside from fading and sun damage due to harmful ultraviolet rays. Ask your glass repair technician for insulation film recommendations that will work best with the type and age of glass your windows are outfitted with.
Update Your Landscaping with New Trees
If you'd like to improve your home's energy efficiency while increasing your property value by up to 20 percent, consider updating your landscape design with the addition of new trees. Featuring healthy trees in your landscape design will also increase curb appeal and can help set your place apart from neighboring properties. And you can expect your new trees to naturally cool temperatures down inside by up to 25 percent while making your air conditioner perform more efficiently by roughly 10 percent.
Planting your trees near windows that get direct sunlight during the day is an effective way to improve your home's energy efficiency, but for optimized results it's a good idea to consult with a landscaper or arborist who is experienced in landscape designing for energy efficiency. They should be able to help you put together a plan that marries beauty and performance for long-term benefits.
While all trees provide some energy efficiency, deciduous options tend to offer the best protection year-round because their lush leaves will shade your home from the sun in the summer, and their lack of leaves in the winter allows the sun to naturally heat things up. Consider planting Japanese maples, Himalayan birches, black hawthorns, or chestnut oaks.
Install Ceiling Fans in Major Rooms
Another excellent way to save energy at home is to install ceiling fans in all the major rooms that your family tends to spend most of their time in, like the family room and bedrooms. A ceiling fan uses only about 60 watts of power each hour it's in use, while the typical HVAC system sucks up a whopping 3,500 watts an hour while turned on.
When programmed to operate in the right direction for the time of year, ceiling fans are effective at controlling room temperatures so you don't have to use your HVAC system as often throughout the day and night. Switch your fans to run counterclockwise during the summer to ensure optimal air movement and create the most breeze. In the winter, switch the fans to run clockwise to keep warm and cool air mixed, and therefore maintain comfortable temperatures more easily inside.
Making use of these tips and tricks should save you a significant amount of money on energy costs and help minimize wear and tear on your HVAC system throughout the year.