Considering the hard time we had in 2020, the main things we all want in the current year are low energy bills and high indoor comfort. The truth is that most homes struggle with preserving carefully heated air and reducing wasting energy on basic utilities like heating, air conditioning, and lighting.
Homeowners recognize their homes can improve in these areas, but they just don’t know what steps to take and how to implement the changes.
Below is an in-depth guide to all the changes you can make to achieve better performance of your home’s energy efficiency, save money, and make your home more comfortable. Take a look at our recommendations for Energy Efficient Upgrades to Make to Your Home in 2021.
Insulation and Air Sealing
One of the main energy-efficient home upgrades for 2021 you might want to consider is insulation and air sealing. If you noticed decreased warmth and comfort throughout your house, then chances are, you have an air leak somewhere in your home.
Believe it or not, improperly installed or old insulation and air leakage can waste 20 percent or more of the energy in your house.
With new insulation and effective sealing, your air conditioning system will work properly and achieve the best results. Insulation might seem like a huge investment, but the truth is, it will prevent the escape of warm or cool air and reduce the amount of energy needed for heating or cooling.
Thus, the better-insulated walls, floors, and roofs you have, the more energy-efficient your home will be and the lower your bills will be over time.
Sealing air leaks is not that difficult either, yet it adds to an energy-efficient home design. Air leaks can be found by searching for cracks, small holes, and penetrations in the plumbing, wiring, lighting, and ductwork.
These tend to influence the cooling and heating system to a great degree – almost like you’re keeping your window open at all times. Thus, sealing all cracks and gaps in your home and use caulking and weather-stripping to stop air leaks from the outside.
Windows and Doors
If you’re looking into different ways to make an old home more energy-efficient, consider purchasing new windows and door draft stoppers. These items are specially designed to prevent cold air from entering the room and keep warm air from leaving it.
The installation of door draft stoppers is pretty simple. You can place them under doors and windows as a physical barrier that fills the gap between the floors and walls and your doors and windows.
As simple as that, you can get rid of chilly drafts and keep your toes toasty during winter. Not sure which door draft stoppers to purchase? Take a look at our magnetic door draft stoppers made to provide comfort and reduce energy consumption for all homeowners out there.
Energy-efficient upgrades for your home should definitely start with the water heater. Did you know that newly designed water heaters can be up to 50% more energy efficient than traditional ones?
Upgrading this appliance is a great opportunity for savings – not to mention that you get to enjoy enhanced hot water flow and unlimited showers.
If you have an old water heater in your home, maybe this is the year when you go for an energy-efficient upgrade. Thanks to the new technology improvements, you can choose between tankless water heaters, solar water heaters, and heat pump water heaters.
All these types will help you preserve energy and lower the bills, but they are not the same. We still recommend you double-check what option works best for your home.
Naturally, one of the ways to make your home more energy-efficient involves an HVAC system upgrade. If you have an outdated system, consider updating it with a new one. Today’s market offers many budget-friendly options for homeowners who want to go solar or try alternative cooling and heating sources.
If a new HVAC system is a large investment, you can try to make the existing one more energy-efficient. For example, you can get an automated system to control the thermostat and turn it on and off at your unique schedule.
Vent covers work to redirect the airflow from the ventilation system to where you need it the most. You can put them on the vents in your rooms and increase or decrease the airflow in the house according to your needs.
Now, while vent covers seal vents, vent extenders extend up or down the walls to control the airflow and redirect it to the more open areas.
In general, both of these inexpensive and compact items work to increase HVAC performance and lower your monthly bills.
Maybe this is the right year to check home appliances as well. Do you know how old your appliances are, and how much energy they use?
The older they are, the more energy they are likely to draw and the higher bills you’ll have to pay. Therefore, make sure to replace fridges, microwaves, dryers, and other appliances that have long passed the expiration date.
Pro tip: When buying new appliances, stick with the right size for your household. Be realistic about your needs because that will allow you to save energy in the long run.
Popular Energy-Efficient Products
If you’re wondering how to build an energy-efficient home, we have a few simple suggestions for you to start with. There are some low-cost products you can purchase to reduce the electric bill and build a smarter, greener home. You can start with them and proceed to larger upgrades in the future.
- LED Bulbs. Yes, LED bulbs are much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent ones. Not to mention LED bulbs are modern and make a great aesthetic improvement to the house. Some of them even offer wireless control and color variability for more user convenience.
- Advanced Power Strips. Do you know that your appliances draw a lot of energy even when not in use? You can prevent this from happening with advanced power strips. These items are meant to reduce energy consumption in plugged appliances that are not in use (think phone chargers, game consoles, and similar).
- Smart Light Switches. Our home lights tend to use a lot of energy, and we often forget to turn them off. To regulate this inconvenience, you can use a smart light switch with voice control, scheduling, and many other useful features to cut down on electricity waste.
We already mentioned some smart products you can use to make your home more energy-efficient. But did you consider full home automation? Smart homes are the future of energy conservation. They might be a little pricey to build from scratch but will definitely be worth every penny.
Adding smart thermostats, power switches, and other similar products is more than just conserving energy – it’s about convenience and running the house smoothly. Finally, you can schedule everything according to your needs and stop worrying about always running lights and overloaded HVAC systems.
Switch to Solar
If you think this is the year for big changes, maybe going solar is your best pick among all the energy-efficient upgrades to make to your home in 2021. Using natural resources is the best way to go green and make a change in energy costs. When there’s plenty of sunlight to use, it’s easy to install solar panels and draw the energy for crucial elements in the house.