Have you realised the importance of reducing energy waste in your home, but aren’t sure how to curb loss effectively? Boosting energy efficiency in your house not only helps you to save money on monthly bills, but is also one of the best and most effective ways of reducing your overall impact on the environment. As more and more cultural emphasis is placed on the importance of going green, a growing number of homeowners are left wanting to make real changes, but unsure of where to start. From a series of small but impactful changes to dramatic upgrades, here are some of the best ways to start improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Renovations and Upgrades to Improve Energy Efficiency
For the most substantial savings when it comes to energy usage and cost, you may find it most effective to renovate your home or commit to some relatively major upgrades. While the up-front investment for more involved projects is greater, these upgrades will start to pay for themselves almost immediately. Over time, the amount of money saved on energy costs will more than justify the expense of renovating, upgrading or retrofitting your home.
First, consider your appliances. The most significant sources of energy use in the average Australian home are almost always water heating, climate control and major electrical appliances. Replacing old kitchen and laundry appliances, for instance, can help you to use far less standby energy than you are right now. Upgrading your water heater, along with the heating and cooling system which maintains interior climate, can also be a dramatically helpful choice. Because your largest energy drain will be attributed to these major appliances, it’s always a good idea to consider replacing them with newer, more efficient versions whenever possible.
Improper or inadequate insulation is another source of energy loss in many homes. If you’re planning a home extension or renovation project, consider upgrading your insulation to mitigate the loss of heated or cooled air, especially in attic crawlspaces. Homeowners truly committed to reducing their carbon footprint may even want to consider the installation of solar panels and electrical systems to reduce or even eliminate dependence on grid-tied, non-renewable power.
Small Changes with Big Impact
While installing a solar system and upgrading all of your appliances to the newest and most efficient models will have a significant impact on your energy use, such costly changes just aren’t always in the budget.
Some very small changes in habit or relatively minor upgrades can make a very real difference when it comes to your home’s energy efficiency. For instance, making a point of only running the dishwasher when it’s full, keeping filters clean and using the lowest temperature settings can all improve the efficiency of your home. Wash full loads of laundry instead of running several small loads, and use a clothes rack or outdoor clothes line whenever possible, because clothes dryers are a major source of energy use. When computers, printers and fax machines aren’t in use, turn them off completely at the power point. Sleep modes reduce energy use, but still draw standby power you could be saving by turning these devices off before you go to bed at night or leave for the day.
The single best way to determine where your home is losing energy and how you can mitigate the loss is to invest in an energy audit. When they’re conducted by a professional building inspector with no financial stake in the findings, you’re able to learn where and how energy is being wasted in your home, along with methods of affecting the most dramatic change. Contact a reputable inspector to schedule an energy audit, and get on the road to real savings today.
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