As a citizen concerned about planet earth you do what you can, right? You recycle your bottles and cans, choose paper over plastic, and bike to work during the summer.
But what about your home?
While turning off your lights when you leave the room can help you save on energy bills and help conserve environmental resources, it’s not quite what we’re talking about here.
The real question is: is your home energy efficient?
If you’re confused as to what that means, here is a handy little ‘need to know’ guide for homeowners looking to greenify their home and save a few dubloons:
What’s an energy efficient home?
When a home is energy efficient, that means it has taken all precautions necessary to reduce the excessive expenditure of energy from utilities such as air conditioning, and from all appliances in the home (this can include lightbulbs, too!)
What does an energy efficient house look like?
Firstly, homes with high energy efficiency practice proper weatherization. Weatherization is the process of sealing the home, effectively keeping the outdoor elements from coming inside. This includes unregulated air, and any stray pollutants. Proper weatherization entails sealing any cracks, air ducts, and leaks that may naturally exist in your home. It also means investing in windows and doors that don’t let air escape through the cracks.
Secondly, energy efficient homes have equipment and appliances that are up to date. This includes appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and air conditioning/heating systems. The more up to date, well maintained and efficient these appliances are, the more energy efficient your home will be. In general, it helps if your appliances have an energy star rating, as this will ensure utmost energy efficiency.
What are the benefits of having an energy efficient home?
Energy efficient houses reap three major benefits. The first is environmental. It’s no secret that we’re drastically using up our planet’s precious resources. The polar bears are drowning, for Pete’s sake! Making a commitment to energy efficiency means that you are making a commitment to slowing down the loss of our natural resources.
When your home is energy efficient, it also saves you a great deal of money. Weatherization alone can save individual families around $400 per year. And according to research, investing in energy star rated appliances can save you up to 30% on utility bills overall.
Finally, energy efficiency means better health and quality of life for your family. For those with allergies, asthma, and bronchitis, properly working HVAC systems are vital to keeping good air quality within a home. Weatherization helps to keep pollutants out, and clean, regulated air in.
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