Residential Category , Tips

Residential: 7 ways to make your home more eco-friendly and energy-efficient

With climate change in the news every day, more and more people are thinking about doing their part to make their homes more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. And, hey, the big savings you'll see on your energy bills, as a result, won't hurt either.

If you've got an older home, you probably love its charm and character, but don't love your heating and cooling bills. We've got some fixes for that. But even if you have a new home, there are myriad things you can do to boost its green factor. And if you're planning a home remodeling project? Let's go green with that new addition! You'll be doing your part for the environment and your wallet. You'll save money on your energy bills and might qualify for government rebates, too. And you'll increase the comfort level of your home.

Here are some suggestions for ways to make your home more energy-efficient.

Insulation. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people haven't checked their insulation lately. Making sure you have ample insulation in your walls and attic is a relatively easy way to reduce your heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable. It'll be quieter, too.

Appliances. Doing a kitchen remodel and want to go green? One of the first places to start is by looking at Energy Star-certified appliances. These are fridges, stoves, dishwashers, and washer-dryers that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. They may cost a bit more than base models, but oftentimes you'll qualify for rebates. And the energy savings alone will help offset the cost.

Windows. Updating your windows, especially if you live in an older home, is a great way to make your home more energy-efficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should consider the frame materials, glazing or glass features, gas fills, and spacers and the type of window it is. Double pane, low emissivity windows will not only reduce drafts, but they'll keep out the sounds of your noisy neighbor's backyard parties, too.

Doors. Your doors can contribute significantly to air leaking into and out of your home, and they can also waste energy due to conduction. Is your front door cold to the touch inside on winter days? Consider replacing it. Bonus: A beautiful new door kicks your home's curb appeal up a notch.

HVAC. The new, state-of-the-art HVAC (heating and cooling) systems are technological marvels that will optimize your home's energy efficiency. Why heat water when your whole family is sleeping? Set your water heater to bubble to life an hour before everyone gets up instead, and have hot water when you need it, not when you don't. Smart everything on these units can customize your family's energy use to your habits, the times you're home, away, and sleeping.

Roof. Replacing your roof with a more energy-efficient one is a major way to slash those energy bills. Did you know Energy Star certifies shingles? True! They're not all created equal. And, not all types of shingles are right for every environment. If you live in Tuscon, you'll want a different type of roof than if you live in Minnesota. Trust us on that one. There are a lot of options, from asphalt to shake to metal to slate to tile. Investigate which is the best choice for your climate before you buy.

Solar panels. More and more homeowners are choosing this option, in order to move away from fossil-fueled electricity and power their home with the power of the sun. Costs have come down on solar installations over the past decade, and today, homeowners are afforded incentives like the federal investment tax credit, which most people call the solar tax credit, that gives you a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the total cost of your system. States have their own tax credit programs as well, and in some states, those credits can be significant.

Need help updating your home's energy-efficiency? At Titus Contracting, we've got answers to your questions. Contact us and we'd be happy to talk more about ways to make your home more eco-friendly and energy-efficient. Call the experts at Titus Contracting at 952-746-7817.

Written by Scott Rajavuori on September 17, 2019