Energy efficiency is one of the top terms on the lips of homeowners in 2023. Nobody wants to pay the skyrocketing cost of energy bills and home maintenance, but it’s starting to feel like you’re being robbed just to keep your property at a comfortable temperature.
Energy efficiency isn’t impossible! If you recently purchased a pre-owned home and you want to set yourself up for success, here’s everything you need to know so you can save money and give back to the environment.
1. Check Your Insulation
Insulation is a big hitter when it comes to creating an energy-efficient home. This material creates a buffer for temperature, moisture, noise and even insect life. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t know how well-insulated their property is and assume that it’s fine. Having a professional check your property and advise you on the best insulation for exterior walls will give you the opportunity to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time. This will also make your home more comfortable in the long run.
2. Ensure Windows and Doors Are Sealed
How well-sealed is your home? A property with multiple air leaks may not be obvious if you don’t look for them. Lighting a candle or carrying a piece of string and hanging it loosely from your fingers, walk by all closed doors and windows. If you see the flame or string move around, like it’s being pushed by a current of air, you have a leak. If it’s just one window or door, you can usually seal it for an affordable amount. If multiple windows are leaking, it could be time to go ahead and replace this piece of your property.
3. Consider Built-In and Targeted Heating
A big game changer in 2023 has been in-surface heating. This could mean a heated island countertop in your kitchen or heated shower floors to keep you comfortable first thing in the morning. Built-in and targeted heating will ensure you’re as comfortable as possible without having to push your heater higher or deal with the intense electricity bills that come with that.
4. Hire a Pro for an Energy Audit When Buying a Pre-Owned Home
Hiring an energy auditor, or energy rater, is the best way to prevent waste. These professionals look at your property, take measurements and check the history of your home, and then come back with tips on how to avoid waste and fix issues. Not only is this extremely important if you’ve just purchased your home because it can give you a clear view of what changes are needed: but if you have this walk-through before you buy, you might be able to fold the fixes into the cost of the home. This depends on what the housing market is like and if you have any bargaining power, but it can make a huge difference.
5. Look At the Age of Your Roof and Siding
How old are the external areas of your home? The average roof will start to deteriorate around 30 years, and siding lasts for only 20. If your home is brand new, then you’re generally set, but if it’s older, you need to be careful. Updating to products like slate roofing or metal siding can be great insulators and help keep your property at a comfortable and steady temperature.
6. Appliances Make a Huge Difference
The appliances you use can either draw a lot of power or help you save on electricity. The older your devices, the more likely they’ll be energy suckers. Although it can be expensive to pay for brand-new appliances, they’ll pay for the difference within three and a half years, according to CSMonitor! If you keep using it for over a decade, the difference you’re saving could be enough to pay for the unit itself! Appliances are something we use every day, so it’s vital that they’re as energy efficient as possible.
7. Change Habits to More Energy-Efficient Ones
Creating outdoor entertainment spaces is a key factor in creating a more energy-efficient home. Building a fun outdoor kitchen is already exciting, but being able to entertain fully out there, instead of having to run in and out of your home for food, drinks, and so much more, can help your home by reducing the amount of use you need from your HVAC system. If you simply leave an outdoor-heading door cracked open for eight hours, you’ll see a 30% increase in your energy use: which isn’t great! Get great decking and railing, and build the outdoors of your dreams instead of overworking your AC.
Every Property Could Be More Energy Efficient
Whether this is a brand new property or you’ve purchased a home built in the 1950s, there are always changes you can make to create a more energy-efficient house.
Log homes and timber frame homes built in combination with with Honest Abe’s Structural Insulated Panel system are extremely energy efficient. Contact Honest Abe to see how you can have a new how that will remain energy efficient for decades to come.
Natalie Akins is a freelance writer that loves sharing her knowledge and expertise on interior decorating and remodeling. She lives in her hometown of Austin, Texas, where she enjoys spending time with her husband and decorating with her children. Natalie’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource site.