Making your home energy-efficient has many benefits. You would be contributing to the protection of Earth, saving money, and providing a safe environment for your family. There are lots of ways to go green while keeping your home pleasing to the eye. Increase the eco-friendliness of your home with these three suggestions.
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that over 112 million homes use approximately 22 percent of America’s energy. Unfortunately, most of it seeps out through your windows. However, if you have the right kind of window treatments, you can change that. When the sun shines through your windows, it carries heat into those rooms. To block the sun, you can hang a set of beautiful, reflective, light-colored blinds. If you want dark-colored blinds instead, choose some snazzy ones that have a light-colored or aluminum backing to reflect sunrays. You could also use blackout shades to decrease solar heat.
Some window treatment items have a summer shading coefficient. This determines how much solar heat they stop from getting into your home. The lower the number, the better. Window treatments that lower elevated heat by 75 percent have a shading coefficient of .25. The ones that lower it by 90 percent have a coefficient of .10. Cellular, or honeycomb, window shades can retain heat. Their air pockets grab interior air and stop it from seeping through windows. They are sold in many stunning colors, materials, and thickness.
Image via Flickr by David G. Romero
Lighting makes up 73 percent of all potential home energy efficiency. Place lamps in the corners of various rooms. This allows the light to increase by bouncing off two walls. Cover your recessed lighting to prevent heat from escaping through the fixtures. Don’t use halogen light bulbs because they heat ceilings more than they produce visible lighting.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs for your floor and table lamps are good energy-efficient choices. They use 70 watts per hour versus the 300 watts per hour that halogen bulbs use. Delicate fixtures and contemporary lamp shades can cover bulbs that might stand out. A few incandescent bulbs are fine if you use dimmer controls. Dimming your lights throughout the day could save you around 25 percent in energy costs annually.
Solar Water Heaters
Is your water heated with electricity that costs a fortune? If so, you should consider the installation of a solar water heater. The popular ones like a batch, thermosyphon, or indirect solar water heater will save energy and increase the value of your home. Are you concerned about its appearance? Don’t worry about it. Solar water heaters can be placed on your roof to mix in with the design of your home. The units eliminate gas emissions that you get with electricity. It is a great investment for you and your family. A federal tax credit is available to assist with the service costs.
Incorporate sensible style into your home while being kind to your precious planet. Efficient does not have to equal unattractive. These eco-friendly ideas can keep your home beautiful one savings at a time.