As your home ages, the systems within it become less efficient, and everything starts to cost more. Your refrigerator needs more electricity to keep things cool. Your heating system needs to work harder to keep the home warm in the winter. Your old plumbing system uses much more water than the modern devices installed in today’s homes.
All of these inefficiencies and more are perfect targets for a renovation plan that seeks to reduce the amount of energy your home uses. When you decide to make improvements to your home, one essential consideration is investigating the amount of money you’ll save by using high-efficiency machinery, materials, and devices.
Savvy Renovations for Lowering Your Electricity Bill
Depending upon the scope of your renovation plan, you’ll want to think about eliminating the gaps and cracks in the home that could be letting heat escape and making your heating system work harder to keep your home at an appropriate temperature in the winter.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency:
“Your home’s envelope – the outer walls, ceilings, windows, doors, and floors – may be letting too much air into or out of the home. Hidden gaps and cracks in a home can create as much airflow as an open window, and can cause your heating and cooling systems to work harder.”
If you’re getting new windows installed, you won’t have to worry about leaks and cracks around the windows, but you’ll want to inspect other with potential leaks. For example, a misaligned door could be letting in cold air even though the door looks perfectly flush in its frame.
According to the New Zealand Green Building Council, you’ll want to aim for the following bill-lowering projects:
- Ensure the home is insulated
- Consider double-glazed, low-e windows
- Install an energy-efficient heating system
- Replace appliances with ENERGY STAR machines
Small Replacements That Add Up to Big Savings
After you’ve made the big decisions on features like roofing, your HVAC system, and the insulation in your home, there are a variety of smaller improvements you can make that will also add up to big savings on your energy bills.
One option is to replace the showerheads, toilets, and faucets in your home with low-flow versions. Hopefully, you’re already taking showers instead of baths to reduce your water consumption. Water-efficient shower-heads can make your water savings even more impressive.
Your home probably already had several CFL bulbs, and you might only have a few incandescent bulbs left in the house, but you can go even “greener” with LED bulbs. They tend to require a modest investment when you first buy them, but LED lights are designed to last for several years.
Maintenance and Simple Options for Reducing Energy Use
Regular chores around the home aren’t anyone’s favorite project, but there are some duties you should remember to do even if they’re a hassle, or they make you sneeze. One chore you’ll want to take care of every two months is cleaning your furnace filter. You can increase the efficiency of your furnace by an astonishing 50 percent by keeping the filter clean.
Also, even when your windows are newly installed, your house doesn’t suffer from drafts, and you’re using less energy for the winter, you’ve still got a variety of ways to keep the bills down.
One option is to turn the thermostat down by just a few degrees. Green Living Online suggests:
“In winter, turn your thermostat down by two degrees and wear a sweater. It will save you $180 per year on your energy bill (and just think of the huge energy saving around the [world] if everyone did this).”
You’ll also use less energy and have lower electricity bills each month if you remember to:
- Always fill the dishwasher to capacity before using it
- Unplug your electronics when they’re not in use
- Clean the lint filter after each dryer load is complete
- Close your chimney to prevent heat loss in the winter
Interested in Reducing Your Bills through Renovation?
If you’d like to get started on a renovation plan to reduce your home’s electricity needs, you’ll want to download our eBook: Seven Questions to Ask When Choosing a Remodeler in the Indianapolis Area.