Save money with better home energy efficiency

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When slowly but steadily the world has chosen to become friends rather than foes with the environment, homes have consequently turned to energy efficiency. But integrating with the environment of the blue planet is not the only reason behind energy efficiency. 

It can also bring down those monthly expenses and save money. It is a simple equation: cutting down on energy consumption equals saving money. There are many ways to make your home more energy efficient, from changing habits to one time investments in hardware. By befriending energy efficiency your home will not only become a better place to live but it will cost less to maintain it.

Here are 7 ways to save money with better home energy efficiency…

Use window shutters

While the red shutters ornament the living room in this picture, window treatments can also be energy efficient. Due to their design, shutters are better adjusted for heat gain in the summer months rather than heat control in the winter. With interior shutters you can have control over light and ventilation.

If, for example, slats meet completely when the shutters are closed, the level of heat gain in a room can come down by a staggering 45%. Shutters can be adjusted to block or reflect direct natural light depending on the needs of the room. 

Exterior shutters usually come in three versions; wood, aluminium or vinyl. On a hot summer day, instead of turning to air-conditioning or a fan, you can save energy by lowering the shutters completely for a lazy shade or partially open the slats to ventilate and illuminate the room.  Window shutters are a perfect combination of decoration and energy efficiency.

Install high performance windows

Orangery with Marvin Windows:  Windows  by Marvin Architectural
Marvin Architectural

Orangery with Marvin Windows

Marvin Architectural

Windows are the heart and soul of your home. They provide heat, air and light. For that same reason ill fitted windows can become a cancer to your energy efficiency and consequentially to your pocket. You can counter that energy deficiency of the old windows through high performance windows.  In essence, energy efficient windows will pay for themselves through savings on heating and electricity bills.  

When endeavouring to install high performance windows, pay attention to their energy performance criteria so as to correspond with the climate and house design. Energy Star labels windows with their minimum energy performance criteria. To stop heat escaping the house you might consider installing double or even triple glazed windows. 

Perchance your budget limits the choices in installing new windows. Then, you can always improve the efficiency of existing ones. Adding storm windows, caulking or weather-stripping can reduce air and heat leakage.  

Energy efficient appliances

It is time to show the door to those old appliances that are hungry for fuel! Replace them with new energy efficient appliances. These new toys will not only cut down on energy consumption but will also lower expenses. 

The washing machine, dryer, boiler and oven: all of them can be turned into energy efficient advocates. When you are on the search for these new appliances make sure to look for labels that are stamped with Energy Stars

A new energy-friendly boiler will fire up on command to heat up the water in seconds and then stop abruptly without delays as soon as the water boils. You might also want to turn the toilet and the shower head to low flow. And imagine, by investing in one of these appliances you can use the savings to reshape your home into energy heaven. 

Use LED lights

Did you know that the energy used by a single incandescent bulb in its life will cost from 5 to 10 times more than its original purchase? Well, now you do. And LED lights have been developed to counter this imbalance in money and energy consumption. With LED lights you have a more durable, long lasting and energy efficient alternative to normative light bulbs. 

With an energy consumption of 1/3 to 1/30 of incandescent bulbs, LED lights will be a great choice to save money on energy. LED bulbs are cooler in every sense. Literary. Unlike their counterparts, LEDs do not heat up and thus contribute to the general heat of the room. That can be extremely helpful in bringing down the costs of air-conditioned spaces. As with the image, two racks of led can effectively and cost-efficiently illuminate a large, open, contemporary living room.

Turn appliances off when not in use

Kitchens made in Harrogate by Inglish Design: classic Kitchen by INGLISH DESIGN
INGLISH DESIGN

Kitchens made in Harrogate by Inglish Design

INGLISH DESIGN

You have made the one-time investments to save money though energy efficiency. Now it's time to turn to the habits that can make your wallet thicker. Each appliance comes with a manual operator. By studying the instructions you can learn how to make the better use of the appliances. It is all about exercising the art of attentiveness. 

Minimise their use to necessity. Use washing machines and dishwashers only work on full load. Fire up the boiler only when it is time to have a hot shower. The refrigerator is one of the most energy consumptive tools in your kitchen. Within the manuals you will find instruction to bring it down to its most energy efficiently settings.

In those long awaited vacations do not just turn off the appliances since they still draw energy. Unplug them from their sockets. Its all about little tricks that, when turned into habits, will make your home more energy efficient and consequentially save you money.

Take faster showers

Brunel Cast Iron Bath: classic Bathroom by Aston Matthews
Aston Matthews

Brunel Cast Iron Bath

Aston Matthews

Since we are talking about habits, the way water is used when taking a shower or a bath can hugely affect energy efficiency. The easiest way to better water efficiency is to minimise the amount of showers each week. 

Perchance your daily life requires showers, cutting down the minutes spent under the water will also do the trick. A typical shower of about 8 minutes will consume approximately 62 litres of water and with power showers than can rise to triple digits. By taking less time in the shower you can lower the water consumption. Just two minutes less in the shower can bring down those water bills. 

If you are a bath enthusiast, then try not to overflow the bathtub: rather fill it with just the right amount of water. And for those romantics, going into the shower in pairs now has an added energy efficient incentive to it! 

Use rugs on cold floors

In those cold days of the white winter, the floors of your home can be cold. The first reaction will often be to turn up the heat but that would be energy consuming. There is a better way to fight the cold on your feet. When floors are made out of hardwood, tile or linoleum they tend to be colder since carpets and rugs provide insulation. 

Hence, turn to those rugs to keep your floor warm and your savings even warmer. And with rugs, you will have that extra touch of opulence that brings the room together. We love the living room in this picture, with the baroque style rug covering the naked floor, complementing the living room beautifully.

To turn your home into an energy efficient machine can be as simple as making convincing changes in your everyday routine or with some extra effort and budget invest in hardware that will help lower your monthly bills. Whatever your incentive is to turn towards energy efficiency, may it be love towards the environment, money saving or both, it surely is worthwhile.

Have these tips convinced you to make better efforts in saving energy at home? Let us know!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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