5 Ways to a More Energy Efficient Home
When it comes to purchasing a home, one of the first things most buyers look into is its energy efficiency. Rising utility rates and weather trends often make this an essential factor when finding the right place to settle. Not only is efficiency important when a house goes on the market, but it is also one of the top improvements homeowners seek when wanting to add value to their home. That’s because energy efficiency pays off in the long run; many states also raise the stakes on energy production.
California is one of these states, setting a high standard for the future of green energy. The Title 24 mandate requires all new homes to run on solar power. It’s not the first time the state has enforced new energy requirements to reduce strain on the electrical grid. In an effort to prepare for extreme weather conditions like the recent heatwave that has residents demanding more energy, many methods have been adopted, including the state’s notorious public safety power shutoffs. While these mandatory power outages help, more work is needed.
California isn’t the only state leading the way towards building in energy requirements to harvest a more sustainable future. Northern states like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont have scored high with the American Council of Energy-Efficient Economy for their continuous focus on improving energy codes.
Beyond local utility-related efforts, there are multiple ways homeowners can help by improving their own home’s energy efficiency.
Replace High-Energy Appliances with More Efficient Versions
Purchasing appliances with an ENERGY STAR label will ensure that large appliances like the dishwasher, dryer, and washing machine use the least energy. Appliances stand up to a variety of standards before receiving the prestigious label. In addition, operating these appliances after peak demand times can further reduce strain on the grid.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats (known for saving money) allow homeowners to create a schedule that follows a family’s routine; for example, adjusting thermostats during the seasons to heat and cool when it makes the most sense instead of maintaining a specific temperature.
Add an Extra Layer of Insulation
Insulating a home is a quick way to impact energy efficiency significantly. There are various methods homeowners can look into when it comes to insulation, but one thing remains the same—it reduces the amount of energy needed to heat or cool a home.
Install New Doors and Windows
Doors and windows play an essential role in your home’s energy efficiency. Replacing older installations with a more energy-efficient version can make a big difference. For example, steel doors have become popular over the years due to their resistance to warping during weather changes and advanced security. In the case of windows, homeowners should consider versions with the ENERGY STAR or NFRC label.
Last but not least, homeowners can also take steps to seal doors and windows correctly; this will help keep out unwelcome drafts, which may cause your AC or heat to run excessively.
Solar energy is highly efficient due to its ability to generate power directly from the sun. Homeowners who work with a SunPower energy consultant can determine how many solar panels are necessary to produce enough power for the home’s needs. SunPower provides the most efficient solar panels available, allowing homeowners to use fewer panels than conventional solar panels. That fact alone can lead to utility savings over time.
Solar energy is also a great home improvement project because it adds value to the property. A study done by Zillow states that homes with solar panels typically sell for 4.1% more on average when compared to similar homes without them. That means homeowners with solar installations not only take advantage of utility-related savings but can also enjoy an added benefit when putting their house on the market.
Creating a more energy-efficient home makes more sense with solar power, and it’s never been easier than with the help of SunPower. Homeowners can get started by test driving the SunPower Design Studio and seeing what solar panels look like on their homes.