Did you know that an inefficient house could be costing you thousands of dollars every month? Energy efficiency is not just a buzzword. It helps you take care of the planet, minimize wastage, and ultimately save money.
When houses are constructed, they aren’t made to be airtight. The outside air is likely to sneak in, meaning you will be losing hot or cool air. You will be using energy to keep your indoor air warm or cool. If your home is efficient, you won’t.
How Is Your Home Energy-Efficient?
Did you know that you can conduct an audit in London to determine how efficient your home is? While nothing beats professional audits and obtaining an EPC Certificate in London, DIY audits can be helpful too. Consider conducting them when you need a rough idea of how efficient your home is. You may find out where you are losing money, where you are doing well, and what you need to change. Here are a few main things to do:
Identify Air Leaks
Create a list of the noticeable air leaks in your home. Identifying them may help you save up to 20 percent of your energy bills every year. Common causes of indoor air leaks include the edges of your flooring, gaps in the baseboard, and the junctures of your ceiling and walls. Check for outdoor leaks as well. They are common in parts where different building materials meet.
Other important areas to check for air leaks include your plumbing fixtures, doors, electric outlets, and windows. Open fireplace dampers could also be causes of air leaks.
Once you have identified the air leaks in your home, it is time to seal them. Caulk or plug penetration and holes. Focus on pipes, faucets, wiring, and electric outlets. Identify holes and cracks in the foundation and seal them with the relevant material.
When sealing the air leaks in your home, consider ventilation. Beware of indoor air pollution that can happen if you do too much. If you have other exhaust fans and combustion appliances competing for air in your space, you may have backdrafts. Exhaust fans may pull combustion gases back into your room, making your home dangerous and unhealthy. Always ensure that your appliances have enough air supply.
Check Your Insulation
If your home doesn’t have enough insulation, you may be losing a lot of heat through your walls and ceilings. If it is an old house, the builder may have installed the insulation necessary at that time. It may not be enough by modern standards. The energy prices today are high, and there is a greater need for efficiency.
If the attic hatch is above a conditioned space, ensure it’s insulated as much as the attic. It should close tightly and have weather stripping. In the attic, seal openings for chimneys, pipes, and ductwork. There are lots of permanent sealants that may help you. Non-combustible options are great for use around chimneys and other devices that may promote heat. Ensure that your insulation doesn’t block the attic vents. Use flexible caulk to seal electrical boxes. When checking the insulation of your walls, use exterior walls. They will give you more accurate results than interior walls.
Check Your Lighting
Lighting accounts for almost ten percent of your energy bills. If you don’t check your light bulbs, you may be missing out on opportunities to save money. If you have inefficient light bulbs, consider replacing them with efficient options. Energy-saving incandescents and LEDs may be good options. Consider the brightness of your bulbs when you are out shopping. Where possible, look for options that allow you to reduce brightness or use sensors.
Inspect Your Cooling and Heating Equipment
Inspect your HVAC equipment at least once every year. Your manufacturer may offer recommendations. With forced-air furnaces, you must check and replace the filters as often as necessary. It would be best to change them once every two months. Change them more frequently during periods of high usage. Replace your HVAC system if it is older than 15 years old. Get a newer, more efficient unit.
Conducting Professional Audits
Once you have completed your audit, it is time to bring in the professionals. Your self-assessment can make it easy for them to determine what needs to improve. They will be better positioned to analyze your home and the areas that could potentially help you save. Do not assume that your DIY audit can replace a professional audit. It is only for giving you a sense of direction.
How Energy Efficiency Is Good for the Environment
An energy-efficient home will help you save money but that isn’t its only benefit. Promoting efficiency at home is the right thing to do because it is good for the environment. Most electricity comes from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal. Consuming less gas and electricity reduces the world’s dependence on power plants that emit lots of carbon. Therefore, energy efficiency at home may help reduce air pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases.
Studies suggest that energy efficiency is the most effective way to deal with climate change. It improves the quality of air as well. Consider using a carbon footprint calculator to determine your carbon footprint.
Build the Right Home
When building a home, efficiency must be at the top of your mind. It is just as important as the quality of your structures. Energy efficiency is good for your pocket, peace of mind, and the environment. The best builders understand energy efficiency and why it is important. They will help you build a house with excellent insulation and modern appliances. Third parties may air test your home to ensure that it is completely airtight. Unlike old homes, modern homes adhere to the highest standards of energy efficiency.
In conclusion, the benefits of energy efficiency go beyond saving money. An efficient home reduces your carbon footprint. All efforts, no matter how small, ultimately contribute to a greener and cleaner world.