Homeowners aiming to boost the energy efficiency of their homes can implement certain strategies like energy-efficient lighting and embracing smart home technology that provide for a greener, more sustainable living space.
Here are 8 tips and strategies that can help boost the energy efficiency of homes across the USA:
Step 1: Energy Efficiency Lighting
· Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs.
· Use motion sensors or smart lighting systems to control lighting automatically based on occupancy.
Step 2: Smart Thermostats
· Install a programmable thermostat to regulate heating and cooling based on your schedule, reducing energy consumption when you’re away or asleep.
· Regulate the thermostat based on your cooking (if electric), washer, and dryer to avoid excessive load within a short period.
Step 3: Sealing and Insulation
· Ensure proper insulation in walls, floors, and attics to minimize heat loss or gain.
· Seal gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and other openings to prevent drafts.
· Install a solar attic exhaust fan to help extract the heat in the attic.
Step 4: Smart Home Technology
· Use smart home devices, such as smart thermostats, smart plugs, and energy-monitoring systems, to optimize energy usage and control devices remotely.
Step 5: HVAC Maintenance
· Regularly service and clean your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to ensure optimal efficiency.
· Recommend installing soft-start devices to keep the unit operating properly and extend the unit’s usage life. This helps with the peak start current that often damages contactors and capacitors.
· Consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient HVAC system if your current one is outdated. Choosing an HVAC System with a SEER number between 19-24 is recommended.
Step 6: Energy Efficient Appliances
· Choose appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, indicating they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines.
· Unplug or turn off appliances when not in use to eliminate “phantom” energy consumption.
Step 7: Energy Audit
· Performing an energy audit can help identify energy usage patterns and establish new strategies to reduce energy usage where needed. This is tied to smart home technology as the data is gathered through continuous monitoring.
· If smart technology isn’t apply, a custom data collection can be perform utilizing external devices that collect the data for a period of time.
Step 8: Renewable Energy Integration
· Once you have applied most of the energy efficiency strategies, you can consider the integration of solar and solar + batteries to increase your energy independence and avoid those high costs from the utility that rise about 2.5-3.5% every year.
· It is crucial to consider and plan for the future when thinking about solar or other renewable sources. For example, are you planning a home expansion, pool, or buying an EV car? These have a significant impact on how your system will perform during the 25-year lifecycle of the system.
· Additionally, if you live in an area of frequent unexpected outages, hurricanes, or other events that cause you to be out of power, consider adding a generator for extra protection.