Aside from your rent or mortgage payments, your utility bills are next in line for being the most expensive bill you pay every month. If you’re like most people, it can seem too expensive to keep your lights on and water running at times. If you feel like that, trust and believe that you’re not the only one who feels that same way. Fortunately, there are some design ideas and additions you can make to your home to make it more energy-efficient.
Depending on your budget, it’s very possible to reduce your monthly energy costs significantly with just a few home improvement projects and a little creativity, even. So don’t feel trapped in forking your utility company hundreds of dollars every month. Consider implementing these design ideas and additions as a more long-term way to save on your monthly utility costs.
How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient
Add a Skylight
A skylight will not only increase the value of your home but it will also improve the efficiency of your home as well. These “ceiling windows” will improve the heating and lighting of your home as well as the ventilation, but this all depends on the actual design of your home. The US Department of Energy recommends that the skylight be no more than 5% of the floor area in rooms with lots of windows and 15% or less of the floor area in rooms with few windows.
Install More Ceiling Fans
For some reason, people tend to think that ceiling fans are only meant to be used in the summer to keep homes cool, but the reality is that ceiling fans are actually cost-effective alternatives to running your HVAC system. True enough, running your ceiling fan still requires you to use electricity but it’s significantly less expensive than turning on your heating and cooling system.
How? Well, ceiling fans use the same amount of energy as a light bulb, which isn’t much.
The direction your fan currently rotates is more than likely set up to blow cool air downward for the hot summer months. But what many people don’t know is that you can change the rotation of your fans for the winter months so that heat can be pushed down towards the room, allowing more circulation of heat. This will save around 10% on your winter heating costs and around 40% on your summer cooling costs.
Switch to Alternative Electricity
One way to reduce your utility bill overall is to simply get away from your electric company altogether. Traditional electric companies generate electricity from non-renewable resources and alternative electricity is generated from renewable resources like the sun, wind, and water.
This is something that’s fairly easy to do but it’s dependent on where you live. Texas residents are able to shop and compare electric suppliers in TX to see which supplier will offer them the best rate, and you can do the same thing by checking if this utility option is available in your area.
This may not necessarily be a physical addition to your home but it certainly is a way to make your home run more efficiently, especially in conjunction with the other design ideas and additions.
Have New Flooring Installed
Everyone has been on this hardwood flooring kick for so long, not realizing that’s it’s not the most energy-efficient option. Sure, it looks nice and adds to your home’s resale value, but that’s all aesthetics with no real efficiency purpose. People tend to forget just how amazing the carpet is.
For some reason, carpet has gotten a bad rap over the years and it’s unclear as to why exactly, but carpet isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Anti-carpet lovers like to say that carpet traps pet dander, dust, and dirt, and while that’s true, a carpet is only as clean as to how often the homeowner cleans it.
Sure, if you don’t vacuum regularly, your carpet will hang on to dust and dirt, but as long as you regularly maintain your carpet, you’ll be fine. The perks of carpet and rugs are that they maintain your home’s temperature by holding on to heat during those cold winter months. But if carpet just isn’t your “thing,” consider installing flooring made from efficient, natural materials like bamboo and cork.