6 Practical Energy Efficient Home Improvements

Those worried about excessive energy consumption due to usage of various electrical equipment for heating, cooling, lighting and operating home appliances can take advantage of implementing many energy-efficient home improvements. Energy efficient homes are not only Eco-friendly but also are cost effective in the long run.

For example, if the home owner can implement certain measures such as stopping air leaks and strengthening insulation in the attic, basement and walls, the house would be warmer making the residents feel comfortable during winter season.

Energy efficient improvement involves making certain alterations to the house such as plugging the air leaks and improving insulation to prevent heat losses, and is meant to enhance the efficiency in the use of energy for heating and cooling.

By properly insulating the electrical systems in the home, there will be efficient utilization of energy, reduction in power consumption and consequently decrease in power costs. Here are several methods by which one can improve efficiency in the usage of energy in his home. Analytical study and pinpointing problem areas:

The ideal method to tackle problems relating to utilization of energy in older homes or homes that were not given due importance to energy efficiency is to thoroughly assess the ‘weak areas’ in the house that are responsible for high energy consumption and areas where there is considerable scope to make improvements with the aim of enhancing energy efficiency.

The study will indicate the areas of possible leakages of hot air in the house. The examination may include areas such as air ducts, roofs, basements, and any cavities in the outer walls, entry points of various utilities, checking for any leakages through doors or windows and others.

1) Insulation of windows.

Heat losses can occur if the insulation is defective. If the windows are old with gaps or spaces around the windows, hot air will escape through windows causing heat losses or the home may have single glazed windows, which can contribute to heat losses through heat transfer.

In such situations, it is advisable to get the windows repaired or replace old windows with energy efficient ones that can stop heat losses. Regarding glazed windows, it is better to choose double or triple glazed windows, using heat reflecting glass or have polythene insulation installed to facilitate reduction of heat transfer and retain the maximum amount of heat inside the home.

Other measures such as long curtains across the windows during the winter can also contribute in further decreasing heat losses.

2) Door insulation.

If the house has glass doors, one should adopt the same methods that are employed in respect of windows in order to properly insulate them. Apart from this, ‘draft proofing’ or ‘weather stripping’ methods can be followed for plugging air leaks.

When breeze is stopped from entering rooms, it will also automatically stop hot air from escaping the house. These measures are simple and inexpensive to implement and they can contribute significantly in improving energy efficiency of the home.

One can also have insulated doors installed by an expert. These doors are strong and will assist in minimizing heat loss as they have insulation material at the center.

3) Air sealing.

Air sealing involves sealing the less prominent air flows in the house. If there is an air flow under a door, one will be able to stop it with a weather strip. However, there will be substantial amount of heat loss through gaps and holes in basements and other places.

In order to prevent heat losses from these places, it is better to engage a contractor for identifying areas of leaks and seal them to prevent heat losses.

4) Duct sealing.

If the house contains ‘reverse cycle air conditioning duct system’, there could be heat losses through gaps due to improper insulation. An expert home improvement contractor can assist in rectifying the problem areas without compromising on the performance of the system.

5) Attic improvements.

If attics are not properly insulated, they can contribute to at least 20% of the heat losses in the home. There are a number of insulation products for the roof such as conventional fiber glass or environmentally friendly biodegradable material. They are more effective than fiber glass for insulation.

6) Wall insulation.

Wall cavities can be filled up with blow-in cellulose insulation, thereby increasing the energy efficiency of the house. While new houses would have already been constructed with this energy saving method, old house should be renovated to attain the required energy efficiency.