Home Improvements for Energy Efficiency

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If you own a home, you most likely have several small and large improvements that you’d like to make. With so many possibilities and high prices, homeowners often feel overwhelmed and end up investing in an improvement that they regret or make little to no changes at all. Whether it be increasing the value of your home, revamping an outdated style, adding comfort or an addition you’ve always wanted, or simply making a change, it is important that you do your research, talk to experts in the field, and stay committed to the home improvement you and your family want to make. We often invite our customers to reflect on why they want to add solar to their homes. Many want to save on their energy bills, others want to help the environment, and some are going solar because of both reasons. With a specific purpose in mind, home improvements turn into an investment rather than a wish or desire. Because we specialize in renewable energy, we’d like to present several home improvements that can make a major impact on your energy usage and save you hundreds and maybe even thousands of dollars over the next several years. 

Replacing Old Appliances 

            

One of the quickest ways to make an immediate impact on your energy usage is to replace old or outdated appliances with new ones. Yes, it may be obvious to get rid of your old fridge, microwave, or TV, but when was the last time you thought about replacing your garbage disposal or your oven’s hood? While it is hard to justify paying for a brand-new fridge when your old one works just fine, we often forget that the old appliance deteriorates and becomes less efficient over time, causing it to use more electricity. This means that the longer you keep an appliance around after its life expectancy, the more it’s going to cost you. Here is a list of the average lifetime expectancy of the major appliances in your home:

Appliance:Life Expectancy:
Gas Ranges15 years
Oven Hood14 years
Dryers13 years
Refrigerators13 years
Garbage Disposal8-12 years
Freezer11 years
Washing Machine10 years
Microwave9 years
Dishwasher9 years
Source: https://www.thespruce.com/lifespan-of-household-appliances-4158782

Buying new appliances is easy, and all new products will show you the amount of energy they use. Of course, it might not be realistic to replace every appliance in your home at once but focusing on replacing a few of the oldest appliances can make a major impact on your energy usage and your monthly power bill. 

Getting Rid of Phantom Power

Wasted energy (aka phantom power) is a common problem that causes the majority of Americans to pay hundreds for extra electricity that they technically did not use. Luckily, some brilliant minds have created solutions to prevent homeowners from leaving the lights on when they leave their home or letting their phone charge throughout the night. The first obvious solution are smart outlets, plugs, strips, and lights. With a Wi-Fi connection and a smartphone, homeowners can turn off an appliance, light, or charger from almost anywhere with the simple press of a button. These smart outlets are inexpensive and can be connected with smart devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. By making these simple changes, homeowners can decrease phantom power significantly and save hundreds every year!

            

Wasted energy (aka phantom power) is a common problem that causes the majority of Americans to pay hundreds for extra electricity that they technically did not use. Luckily, some brilliant minds have created solutions to prevent homeowners from leaving the lights on when they leave their home or letting their phone charge throughout the night. The first obvious solution are smart outlets, plugs, strips, and lights. With a Wi-Fi connection and a smartphone, homeowners can turn off an appliance, light, or charger from almost anywhere with the simple press of a button. These smart outlets are inexpensive and can be connected with smart devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. By making these simple changes, homeowners can decrease phantom power significantly and save hundreds every year!

A slightly larger investment that goes hand-in-hand with smart outlets is the smart thermostat. Smart thermostats make a huge impact on your bills and determine the best way to keep your home cool or hot through machine learning. They connect to other smart devices, have voice control, and track your overall energy usage. For those facts alone, they are a great investment and can instantly boost the energy efficiency of any home. That is why every Blue Raven customer receives a smart thermostat along with LED light bulbs! 

Install New Windows and Fix Sealings 

           

 If you want more control over the temperature of your home, it would be wise to invest in the latest glass technology. Modern windows can block heat from getting in from the sun and trap air or heat from your AC and heater from escaping. While it might be pricey to replace all the windows in your home, these windows will help save hundreds every year. An alternate route many homeowners take is fixing the sealing on all their windows and doors. Oftentimes, older houses are not sealed properly, allowing precious heated or cooled air to escape. Homeowners with faulty sealings must crank up the AC or heater to see the adjustments in temperature that they desire. While it may not be as effective and efficient as new windows, fixing your homes sealings is a quick fix that can impact your energy bills and usage. 

Proper Insulation and Ceiling Fans 

       

Although insulation and ceiling fans may not seem to be tightly connected, they both significantly impact the air flow within your home. Many houses don’t have enough insulation, which means that rising heat escapes during the winter. The solution is to add an extra layer of insulation, which will keep your heat locked in the house and increase the overall efficiency of your home. Another simple fix to increase air circulation is installing ceiling fans.  When ceiling fans are correctly paired with AC, it allows cooler air to be circulated throughout the home rather than in one specific place. They also provide a constant breeze giving an increased sense of coolness, meaning the homeowner will be less likely to feel the need to crank down the temperature. By performing both of these home improvements, homeowners will spend less on their heat and AC and feel more comfortable within their home. 

Make Sure to Monitor

           

 The simplest improvement that any homeowner can make to increase home efficiency is to monitor energy usage. By closely following when you’re using the most energy and what appliances prove to be the costliest, you’ll be able to better judge what improvement will make the biggest impact right off the bat. You will also recognize if you’re using unnecessary energy and can make adjustments that will result in instant savings. Although this may take a little time and effort, it is totally worth it and can help any homeowner reduce their energy usage. 

You can also look into performing an energy audit. Energy companies will send an inspector to your home, who will use your power bill and other findings to determine how you can best reduce your energy usage! 

Solar = The Home Improvement of All Home Improvements 

            

With so many energy improvements available for homeowners, it can be difficult to know which one will get you the most results. Unlike the other home improvements in this list, solar is the only one that is able to produce energy for your home. By installing solar, homeowners can produce all of the power that they need to run appliances, AC, the heater, and anything else within the walls of your home. In many states, if your system produces more energy than you use, you’ll be able to receive credits for less sunny months or even get paid for the extra energy you generated. 

solar powered home

There has never been a better time for homeowners to go solar! Prices are lower than ever, and the government offers a 26% tax credit to make solar accessible to homeowners. At Blue Raven Solar, it is our mission to make your solar journey as pain free and simple as possible. That is why we invite you to receive a free, no-commitment savings report. By simply entering your name, email, phone number, and zip code, we will be able to get you connected to one of our solar specialists who can estimate your savings and help you decide if solar is right for your unique home. Don’t miss out on this free consultation! Click on the link below to see how much you can save!

Sources:

https://www.familyhandyman.com/heating-cooling/10-reasons-to-install-a-smart-thermostat/

https://ygrene.com/blog/8-best-home-energy-efficiency-improvements-can-make

https://www.bpihomeowner.org/blog/5-energy-efficiency-improvements-your-home-needs-2020-0?gclid=Cj0KCQjw7qn1BRDqARIsAKMbHDYhJ4eLVXj9tZI7LbexWpTy9Kh_eBWM07ggZ0plfUJZvv7-nyVqCvoaAmyXEALw_wcB

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