Increasing your home's energy efficiency can help you save money on your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, and contribute to a more sustainable future. It can also improve the comfort and indoor air quality of your home.
What Does It Mean To Have An Energy-Efficient Home
An energy-efficient home is a house that uses less energy to perform the same functions as a standard home. This includes using energy-efficient appliances, insulation, and windows, as well as reducing energy waste through practices such as sealing air leaks and using programmable thermostats. The result is a more environmentally friendly home that can save homeowners money on energy bills.
4 Reasons For Making Your Vermont Home More Energy Efficient
There are many benefits associated with a more energy-efficient home. The boon for the environment, your community, your health, and your wallet are some of the main reasons.
Environment: Making our homes energy efficient can significantly contribute to improving the environment around our homes. Everything from cleaner air to cleaner water can be partially a result of your home's energy efficiency. If everyone in your neighborhood has a more energy-efficient home, imagine how that contributes to the environment around you. An energy-efficient home can even position your home for more renewable energy resources.
Health: Caring for our environment directly contributes to our health. Energy-efficient homes provide us with cleaner air and cleaner water. Your home's thermal envelope and ventilation systems also offer a more comfortable setting in the house and prevent you and your family from inhaling built-up toxic substances let out by various appliances within the home.
Community Benefits: Another reason to make your home energy efficient is how it benefits the community. Cities that invest in energy-efficient programs also implement infrastructure and technology that helps underserved communities.
Cost: At the end of the day, investing in an energy-efficient home will save you money in the long run. Not only does it lower your utility costs, but it lowers overall electricity demand on the current infrastructure.
Four Elements Of An Energy Efficient Home
There are four elements of an energy-efficient home. Thermal Envelope, controlled ventilation, heating and cooling systems, energy-efficient doors, windows, and appliances
A thermal envelope involves anything that shields the inside of the home from outdoor elements. Many factors determining your thermal Envelope are considered when the house is built. Factors like the material your home's frame is created from, your roof, walls, etc. This means that those factors were never determined for most Vermont homes, based on the time when most of our homes were built. Don't worry, though; just because you have a beautiful historic home doesn't mean there aren't still renovations you can make to increase the energy efficiency of your thermal Envelope.
Sealing Windows and Doors
Sealing your Vermont home's windows and doors by adding weatherstripping to the frames is a great and inexpensive way to lower your energy costs. Another quick fix is to make sure you are sealing cracks and gaps in your drywall. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing air leaks can reduce your utility costs by up to 50%.
If you have the capital for more extensive renovations replacing your windows and doors with ones with an Energy Star label is a great start. According to the NREL, Energy Star-labeled windows and doors are twice as energy efficient as those produced a decade ago. Some of the renovations that come with improving your home's therapy can have a price upfront cost. Still, the cost of the improvement's lifecycle is lower.
Controlled ventilation involves the air, pollutants, and moisture in the home. This is an essential part of your home's energy efficiency because a lack of controlled ventilation in a properly sealed home can lead to serious health risks. If your home is struggling with ventilation moving air around a home, there are some steps you can take to improve your situation. Efficiency Vermont's research shows that retrofitting an energy recovery ventilator can really reduce your energy bills. You can also add automatic controls to your current exhaust fans. If you're looking for improvements that you can implement more regularly, we have a few suggestions that may help.
Open windows and doors regularly to let fresh air in.
Install and use exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms to remove excess moisture and odors.
Use air purifiers with HEPA filters to remove pollutants from the air.
Schedule regular maintenance for your heating and cooling system to ensure it functions properly.
If you don't have them, consider installing ceiling fans to improve air circulation.
Heating and Cooling Systems
Your heating and cooling systems play a large part in your home's energy efficiency and the cost of energy for your home. We all know how winter can really run up energy bills if proper precautions are not in place. That is why looking for energy star-labeled heating and cooling products can make a difference in your home.
Something to keep in mind is the use of your space heater. The space heater can actually take up a ton of energy, so even though they can be beneficial in keeping you warm, make sure you find one that won't suck out all the energy of your wallet. You can always limit your use by bundling up and investing in more blankets. Trust us; a home can never have too many blankets!
Energy Efficient Doors, Windows, and Appliances
While the upfront cost may be higher, energy-efficient appliances can decrease energy use in your home, saving you money on utilities and increasing your home's value when you are ready to sell.
You can find energy-efficient appliances by looking for the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates that the appliance meets specific energy-saving standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You can also check the appliance's energy efficiency rating, typically displayed on a label or in the product's specifications. Additionally, consider the appliance's size, features, and usage patterns to ensure you select the most energy-efficient option for your needs.
Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs is also a great way to help make your home more energy efficient.
If you have any questions about ways to make your Vermont home more energy-efficient to appeal to buyers, Green Light Real Estate would be happy to help. Give us a call at 802-225-6425 or call us at info@GreenLight-RealEstate.com. If you have general questions