Electricity is one of the most impactful ways you can increase your home’s energy efficiency, so here are some tips to get help from your electrician to make your home more sustainable.
Are you renovating your home, or designing one from scratch, and want to find ways to make it as sustainable as possible? With all of today’s concerns over climate change, more and more homeowners are opting for energy-efficient options when it comes to the functions of their houses.
However, determining what elements you can change to improve your home’s overall sustainability can be confusing, and you might want to enlist the help of a professional. Electricity is one of the most impactful ways you can increase your home’s energy efficiency and an electrician will be able to help you decide on and execute these projects.
Why Should Energy Efficiency be Important to You?
We hear a lot about energy efficiency and how great it is, but what are the actual benefits to making all of these changes to your home or designing a house with energy use in mind? One of the largest incentives to increasing your home’s energy efficiency is that it lowers the overall cost to you. Functions like heating, cooling, and lighting all suck up a lot of energy and as a result, raise your utility cost. Although energy-efficient options usually cost a bit more than the regular ones, in the long run, you will save enough money maintaining your home that it is worth it.
Energy efficiency also helps the environment tremendously. By using energy-efficient options you are helping to burn less fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels increases greenhouse gasses and other pollutants which are damaging the environment. When you use energy-efficient products and reduce fossil fuels you are helping to fight climate change, improve air quality, and normalize these healthy habits.
Every Home Has Energy Drains
Even homes that are built with energy efficiency in mind have areas that are wasting energy, so if you are renovating an existing home, the very first thing you want to do is have an electrician help you determine where your home could be improved. A professional electrician can inspect your home’s appliances, wiring, and more to find anywhere that could be draining energy.
Another consideration you will want to make before building or renovating a home is how much energy the foundation could be wasting. If your heating and cooling systems run on electricity, factors like poor insulation or old windows can be the source of a lot of lost heat or coolness. Your home’s temperature systems will have to work much harder to keep your house warm in the winter if all of the hot air is seeping through the walls, and cool air is making its way in.
Additionally, homes with lots of windows, or very large windows can heat up during the warmer months much more quickly than homes that have fewer windows. This doesn’t mean you have to give up that lovely natural light, but you will want to be sure to have dark enough shades and curtains to keep the house cooler while the sun is at its hottest.
Once you have determined where your home could be improved aside from electricity, you can begin making the necessary electrical changes that will increase your home’s energy efficiency. Here are a few ways an electrician can help you save the most on your electricity.
A qualified electrician is going to be your best resource for finding appliances that will make your home more energy efficient. You can also do your own research online so you have a better understanding of what the electrician is telling you, however, their professional opinion is going to be very valuable to you.
Today, appliances come with energy labels that have a star rating as well as an estimate of how much electricity it will use each year. Even considering the advice of your electrician, you should still check these labels yourself before making any official purchases. A highly rated appliance can make a huge difference, and experts estimate that a ½ star-rated appliance uses over five times the amount of electricity as one that has a 6-star rating.
If you are upgrading the appliances in an older home, you will need to make sure that the appliances you are choosing will be compatible with the current wiring. If it is not compatible, an electrician can help you determine what needs to be changed or replaced in order to fit these new appliances. This will also help modernize your home in general and increase its overall value.
Switch to LED
LED lighting is the most energy-efficient lighting option available today, and its use is rapidly growing. Not only can LED lighting use at least 75% less energy than incandescent options, it also lasts much longer. In some cases, LED lighting can last up to 25 times longer than regular lightbulb options, and researchers are continuously developing this technology. LED lights are a great option that will also save you money in the long run because you will not have to buy as many new bulbs as you would with other lighting options.
This lighting option is different from the rest for several reasons, the first being that the light source of LEDs is extremely small, about the size of a fleck of pepper. Likewise, the light is emitted in a specific direction which reduces the need for reflectors and diffusers which trap some of the light in regular bulbs and make them less efficient. With other bulbs, over half of the light produced can be lost in the fixture and needs to be reflected in the desired direction. LED lights are also significantly less hot than incandescent bulbs, which release 90% of their energy as heat.
LED lighting can be found all over, from stores to Christmas lights, and it is an excellent way to make your home more energy efficient. However, LED lights are not compatible with all fixtures, and this can cause them to burn out too quickly or give off less light than they should. An electrician can help you install fixtures that are compatible with LED lights if you do not already have them. Using LED lights is not as simple as buying them, so you will definitely need to make sure that your fixtures will support these energy-saving tools.
Invest In Solar
Not everyone has the space for solar panels, but if you don’t mind how they look on your roof or in your yard this can be one of the best ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Even making a portion of your home energy independent will save you money and an incredible amount of electricity in the long run, making it worth the initial investment. An electrician can help you determine what amount of solar energy is within your budget and compatible with your home’s current system. Then they can help you install the panels and a battery system so that your home can generate energy on its own. This is a great option for you as well as the environment.