Saving energy is always a good thing as a homeowner. With more energy-sucking appliances around our homes than ever before. Knowing how to save as much energy as possible is crucial to not only lessening the impact of your monthly energy bill but also doing your part to lower global emissions that contribute to the ever more worrying climate crisis.
Thankfully, our innovators have been hard at work coming up with new, creative ways to save and recycle energy. If you were to implement enough of these trends into your home, you might even be able to achieve net-zero energy-efficiency, meaning your home produces all of its own energy and doesn’t rely on external sources for energy.
However, even if you aren’t looking to achieve total energy independence in your home, here are some energy trends you should consider as we progress further into the new decade.
1. Solar Shingles
Solar Power isn’t a new concept, but it seems to get cheaper and more efficient every day. You no longer need giant solar panels protruding from your roof or lawn to reap the benefits of solar power anymore, although they certainly won’t hurt. Solar power has progressed so much that we now have solar shingles that can be woven seamlessly into your roof.
These shingles can supply enough power to run your entire home, depending on how many of them you buy and how much power you use. Not only are these shingles excellent at producing solar power, they’re just as durable as normal shingles and are almost indistinguishable from regular asphalt shingles as well.
However, they do possess a sleek look that can add to the aesthetic value of your roof, especially if you have contrasting-colored shingles around them like synthetic cedar or other types.
2. Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters will save you up to $100 per year, if not more. They use up to 50% less energy than regular water heaters and allow you to enjoy a constant supply of hot water without ever having to worry about it running out. They use less energy because they don’t require you to store 40-50 gallons of water at all times, rather, they heat water only when a faucet is turned on. They also take up less space than normal water heaters.
3. HVAC Sealing
Most homes have leaky ductwork within their HVAC system. HVAC ductwork can be somewhat flimsy and easily damaged, so it doesn’t take much to create leaks and gaps in the tubing that end up costing you a ton of money. You could try to identify these leaks yourself and patch them up, but you’re unlikely to get an airtight seal on your own.
That’s why many homeowners have been turning to HVAC professionals who offer duct-sealing services. These companies can send a team of pros out to your house who will block off your vents and hook up special equipment to them to identify every single leak within your entire HVAC system.
Then, they use a special sealant that is spread via computer technology throughout your HVAC ductwork to clog the holes and patch them up. The process is clean and efficient, promising to improve your energy-efficiency by a great deal.
Sealing your HVAC ductwork will make your A/C unit and heating system much more efficient, allowing you to use them far less often. This will equal big savings, considering that heating and cooling costs are near the top of the list when it comes to energy expenditures in the average home.
4. Proper Attic Insulation
Most homes have attics, but many of them aren’t insulated properly. This is a problem when it comes to energy-efficiency because much like the human body, homes lose heat through the top of them. Having proper insulation in your attic is vital to maintaining the highest possible level of energy-efficiency. There are multiple different types of insulation you can use, but the most popular types of fiberglass batts and blow-in cellulose fiber.
5. Low-E Window Panes
Replacing your standard window panes with Low-E panes is another way to save energy on heating costs in the winter. These panes are coated with a special type of metal that does not obscure vision at all, but allows light to shine through while trapping heat inside. Windows are one of the main sources of heat loss in a home, so getting yours to not only stop letting heat out but trap it inside, is a big step towards saving more energy.
6. LED Lighting Overhaul
Regular incandescent light bulbs give off about 90% of their energy as heat. We tend to keep lightbulbs running quite a bit, so for a home with many incandescent bulbs, this can add up to a big chunk of energy consumption going to waste. LED light bulbs, on the other hand, are ENERGY STAR rated and far more efficient with their energy.
They consume only 20% of the energy that incandescent bulbs do, but they last 25 times longer. The best part is, this is an incredibly cheap trend to follow, with LED bulbs being incredibly affordable and easy to install.
Turn Your Home Into an Energy-Saving Superstar
The trends we’ve listed here today are all gaining traction because they have some of the largest impacts on energy usage in the home. Implementing some or all of them into your home is affordable, eco-friendly, and doesn’t require you to sacrifice even a sliver of comfort.
By installing LED bulbs, proper attic insulation, tankless water heaters, solar shingles, and Low-E window panes in combination with having your HVAC ductwork sealed up, you can slash your energy bill in half. Heck, you might even be able to achieve total energy independence, which means eliminating your energy bill completely!