Make Your Home Energy Efficient
How to make your home energy efficient,save even more and use much less solar power.
Home energy efficiency in the form of reducing power consumption is one of the most important factors to consider when going solar. When you make your home energy efficient, you don't waste as much of the solar energy your solar system creates.
With a more energy efficient house, your solar panels will be more cost effective and you'll have more power available to actually use, rather than just letting it slip through the cracks.
Therefore... when you make your home energy efficient, you use less power and save more money!
Make Your Home Energy Efficient and Enjoy The Benefits Immediately?
When you improve your home energy efficiency, it is as if you had built a larger solar system that produces more power, faster.
What's the point of trying to save money by solar powering your house, if you're just going to lose the savings because you don't have an efficient home.
By following the tips to make your home energy efficient below, you will not only save (and thus utilize more) energy, but you will also greatly improve and increase the value of your home because you'll now have a much more energy efficient house.
Home Energy Efficiency Tips
- Make your home energy efficient by upgrading / replacing old or badly insulated windows with more modern windows. Although this can be one of the more expensive ways to reduce your energy usage, it can also be one of the most effective for home energy efficiency.
- Switch to low flow shower heads for better home energy conservation. By using less water, you reduce your energy usage as well.
- Proper home insulation is a must for home energy conservation and an energy efficient house especially in cold weather climates. Insulation in old homes can eventually deteriorate, thin out and allow heat to escape from your walls. By properly insulating the walls of your home less heat will escape and you'll use less power. Also insulating ceilings, floors and attics can make a huge difference in energy savings.
- You can also improve home energy efficiency by using motion sensors on your outdoor lighting so it only gets used when needed. Even better, get some outdoor solar lights and stick them in your lawn or yard. These will collect free solar energy all day long so they can shine bright at night.
- Clean or replace your furnace air filter to make your home energy efficient. Your furnace will be unobstructed, struggle less and as a result waste less energy.
- Using certain appliances at specific times can make your home energy efficient. For example: Wash your clothes and dishes after peak energy hours (at night). Most utility companies charge less at night after peak hours which gives you the chance to save money just by altering your schedule a little.
- Replace older inefficient appliances and central heating units with energy star appliances and updated heating systems. Get an energy efficient refrigerator with a small current draw. Of course this can also be expensive and is not always 100% necessary, but the payoff in home energy efficiency can be tremendous with time. Propane or DC powered refrigerators and cooling units are also a good option.
- For a more energy efficient home, seal any cracks or leaks around windows, door frames, floor baseboards and side hatches using flexible silicone. This can make a huge difference in home energy efficiency by reducing heat and energy loss. Also, repair any cracks in the building's exterior / interior that may be letting heat or cold in or out.
- Close your garage door to help with home energy conservation. If your garage is heated or attached to your home, remembering to close your garage door can do wonders for keeping the cold air out in the winter and heat out in the summer.
- Insulating your water heater is an easy way to improve your home energy efficiency. When your water heater is not properly insulated, it has to work harder to heat up the water. By buying a simple wrap for about $30 and "wrapping it" around your water heater, you will save energy you never even knew you were losing. Bonus!
- Make your home energy efficient by repairing any leaking hot water faucets in your home. Losing hot water means requiring more energy to heat up more water, so don't overlook something as simple as a leaky faucet if you want to have an energy efficient home.
- Sometimes part of home energy efficiency involves closing the doors to certain rooms that get colder / hotter or that are not in use. There's no point in cooling / heating a storage room, laundry room or attic that you visit only twice per month.
- Make your home energy efficient by replacing old incandescent bulbs with new compact florescent bulbs, LED light bulbs or any kind of low wattage bulbs. Also don't leave the TV, radio, stereo, computer or other electronics on if they are not in use. Computer monitors are great at wasting energy, especially since people have a tendency to never turn them off.
- You can also make your home energy efficient by closing off any fireplaces that are not in use and could be letting cold or warm air in and out all year round. Also refrain from using exhaust fans as these also take hot or cold air and remove it right after your furnace or AC makes it.
- Open the windows and ventilate the house in the summer instead of using the AC for a more energy efficient house.
- Taking showers instead of baths will improve home energy efficiency. By taking showers you will not be using as much water especially if you make it quick and use cool water on hot days.
- Hang dry your clothes instead of using the clothes dryer. Your clothes will last longer and you will save a lot of energy. When washing clothes, use cold water or warm and cold water instead of hot water. This will result in energy savings from using your water heater less.
- When it's hot, close your drapes and blinds to block direct sunlight (and heat) from entering your home through your windows. This will keep the house cooler and reduce the need to use your air conditioning unit thus making your home energy efficient. When it's cold, open your drapes and blinds to allow the sunlight to heat your home naturally through the windows.
- When cooking, you can improve your home energy efficiency by simply turning your oven off 15 minutes earlier. Since your oven would still be hot, leaving the food in will cook it just the same without using (wasting) any additional energy.
- In the summer, try to cook your food on an outdoor barbecue more often to avoid heating up your home with the stove and causing your AC to work harder and waste more power.
- You can also make your home energy efficient by eliminating or reducing any phantom loads. This means, unplugging any appliances that aren't in use because these draw power even when they are off.
- Using a programmable thermostat can improve home energy efficiency. Lower the heat earlier at night and later in the day. By doing this you will save a considerable amount of power per month and have a more energy efficient house.
- Improve home energy efficiency by turning down your refrigerator and turning on the energy saver switch. If your refrigerator is still in good working condition, you should be able to turn it down to about 35 degrees and 2 degrees for your ice box, without a noticeable difference. Use a thermometer to take the temperature inside your fridge.
- You can also improve your home energy efficiency by vacuuming your refrigerator coils and the area beneath the coils regularly. When dirt, dust and lint build up on your refrigerator coils, the compressor has to work harder to create the same amount of energy, thus you end up using (and paying for) more power. Unplug the refrigerator first.
- Sometimes what you don't do can make your home energy efficient. Like always waiting until your dishwasher is full before you begin washing. This type of home energy conservation will reduce the water and energy used dramatically and will cost you less in dish detergent.
- Drain your water heater once or twice a year to remove any build up and improve water heater efficiency. Also lower your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. More often than not, water heaters are set too high and waste a lot of unnecessary power.
As you can see some of these tips to improving your home energy efficiency are very easy to do and although some of these methods require a bit of an initial investment, the payoff (in long term energy savings) is well worth it when you make your home energy efficient.
By implementing just a few of the suggestions above you will not only save more energy, but you'll also require your solar system to produce less energy. This results in more power being stored in your battery bank (instead of being used frivolously) and thus more power available for use by the other loads in your home.
Start With An Energy Efficient House
While solar powering your house is a great way to save energy, decreasing your energy consumption is equally (if not more) important if you want to reduce wasted energy, make your home energy efficient, help the environment and get the most out of your solar system.
The best part is, once you have made the above energy saving changes and have an energy efficient house, you can continue to save energy, year after year without doing anything else at all, (at least for quite a while anyway