Energy efficiency is a growing concern for real estate owners today for many reasons. Not only can an energy efficient home save people money, but it is also good for the environment, and the demand for energy gets increasingly difficult to meet. The problem is that many people aren’t exactly sure how to go about making a home more efficient.
With the cost of everything rising these days it can be difficult to see that the utilities of the home are higher than they need to be, and if the home seems relatively comfortable, then they may not realize that there is room for improvement. By looking into some of these common energy problem areas, anyone can see that updating a home is not only easy but also a good decision for the value of the property as well.
Ceiling fans can spin in both directions
Most homes and real estate properties have ceiling fans today, and they are used to help a room feel cooler and circulate the air. What many people may not realize is that the ceiling fan can spin both clockwise and counter clockwise. Not only does it have this capability, but changing it according to the season can make the home more comfortable and more efficient. In the summer a ceiling fan should run counter-clockwise to help pull the cool air up and around in the room. But in the winter, a ceiling fan running clockwise can effectively push the rising warm air back down into the room so that the furnace doesn’t have to work quite as hard.
Regular HVAC maintenance is an energy efficient choice
Heating and cooling a home can be very expensive and consumes large amounts of energy, so any effort made to get this consumption down is good for both the environment and the wallet. Having the HVAC system serviced once a year, usually in the fall, is a smart way to make sure everything is clean and in proper working order. The air conditioner can be cleaned and covered for the coming colder months, and the furnace can be cleaned and prepared for the upcoming work of warming the home.
It’s also important to remember to change the air filters in any home about once a month. This ensures the house has clean air and the system doesn’t have to work harder than necessary to push it out. While you’re at it, have the ducts checked to make sure that there are no holes or leaky seams. By sealing up the ducts, you ensure that the temperature controlled air is going where you need it as efficiently as possible.
Fill in the gaps to help stop drafts
If there is a place in the home that seems drafty or breezy even when all the windows and doors are closed, then there is a problem area that needs to be sealed. Heating or cooling a home effectively and affordably is more difficult when there are open cracks that allow the temperature controlled air to escape and the seasonal temperature to get in.
This can be solved by updating a home with sturdy doors and windows, weather stripping around the doors, and caulk to seal up any other cracks and gaps. A home that is properly sealed holds a comfortable temperature much better, and that makes it a more attractive piece of real estate.
Programmable thermostats offer energy efficient control
It’s true that while you are in your home, you want it to be comfortable, which means that your heating and cooling system will be running to maintain a desirable temperature. But in most homes, there are times of day where no one is in the house and keeping the home at that same comfortable temperature can be an unnecessary expense and waste of energy.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set temperatures according to the time of day, so when no one is home the system isn’t running unnecessarily. And when the time comes for everyone to arrive home, the system will automatically kick on and make everything comfortable.
Insulation for the walls and pipes helps keep the temperature steady
Sealing up the cracks isn’t enough to keep a home comfortable year round, which is where insulation can play an important part. Insulation is a substance that goes between your interior and exterior walls to keep the outside temperature from seeping in. It comes in many forms of varying efficiency and cost, and when properly installed it can last many years. The best way to tell how your insulation is working is to have an energy audit performed.
A professional can tell you how well your insulation is holding up and whether or not it needs an update. You should also remember that your pipes need insulation to. This will help your hot water stay hot using less energy, and can help keep pipes from freezing and bursting when the weather gets cold outside.
Energy efficient appliances are a smart investment
A home that is sealed up tight and pushing temperature controlled air efficiently throughout the home is already miles ahead of many other homes today, but it can still consume excess electricity every time an appliance is used. It can seem convenient to keep the old appliances in a home to save money and the hassle of shopping, but old appliances weren’t made with efficiency in mind. They tend to suck up a lot of power unnecessarily, and there are plenty of affordable alternatives available that will help lower the energy bill.
Some of the biggest culprits for consuming unnecessary energy include furnaces, air conditioners, hot water heaters, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and all of the large appliances that bring convenience to the home. Look for new appliances that are Energy Star approved to replace the ones that are out of date when updating a home. Your energy bill will be lower, and if you leave them with the house when it comes time to sell the home will be a much more attractive prospect for buyers.