Posted July 06, 2015 by Gabriel Posternak

5 steps towards ‘oh my gosh’ energy savings

It’s just plain weird that we all are worrying about energy efficiency while we have an amazingly efficient, sustainable and clean energy source falling on our heads. Think about it. Used smartly, solar energy can meet all our energy needs at home while contributing to save the planet – and cutting our energy bills! And when combined with an efficient home design, those savings can be dramatic.

Is that something you want? Of course it is! Follow these tips to get that wonderful combination that will keep your energy bills in check.

Make the most out of daylight

Whenever the sun shines, your home will get warmer and warmer. This is especially useful during winter days, since that warmth allows you to keep your heaters off and use less energy. All homes tend to make the most out of direct sunlight by design – large windows and rectangular shapes running east to west. But you have to make sure you play your part to make that benefit noticeable – open your curtains and drapes during the day and let the sunshine in. Have few windows? Consider a slight remodel that alters the design to make the rooms more efficient whe needed.

Seal your home properly

The less air that comes into your home, the better, right? Well, more or less. While not letting air into your house boosts its efficiency, it also causes air quality problems such as odors, fumes and moisture that’s trapped inside. So, while sealing your home properly is a must if you’re looking to save energy, having a ventilation system to back you up is almost as essential. The market has some really interesting choices that can keep your home airtight while helping to circulate indoor air, which ensures that the air is “recycled” by filtering and preheating it before it reenters.

Add more thermal mass

Another great way to save some energy is to add thermal mass to all of your rooms to help them retain heat. Thermal mass provides inertia that protects your home from abrupt or noticeable temperature fluctuations. So, by adding objects with a high thermal mass to your rooms, you’ll retain your desired indoor temperature for longer without the aid of a HVAC system. How can you get more thermal mass? By building with brick, wooden beams and wood or tile flooring. Marble countertops, water cisterns, sand between wall studs and south-facing stone walls can also help here.

Insulate everywhere

We’ve already discussed insulation before, remember? Well, guess what? Insulation remains an amazing option for people that want an energy-efficient home. Using eco-friendly insulation materials, an expert can blow them into your walls to keep a more stable atmosphere inside your home. When the process is properly done, insulation lasts for years and only need a few retouches here and there. It’s the perfect investment when remodeling any room and should practically be in the list of anyone thinking about a home overhaul.

It’s more than just solar panels

Installing solar panels in your home is a huge step towards energy efficiency and sustainability. However, it isn’t enough. There are lots of things you need to take care in your house to truly call it energy efficient. Getting rid of energy vampires is one of the most important ones, so replace incandescent light bulbs, old shower heads and water tanks. That’s not all. Check if there are big trees nearby that might be blocking the sun and trim them accordingly to ensure you get the most daylight. Thus, you’ll combine many efforts to increase your passive solar gain.

When read in a list like this, these tips might sound like too easy to achieve a major energy cut. Incredibly enough, they actually are great to achieve that and the fact that they are this easy kind of should make your wonder why haven’t you joined the solar revolution just yet. Oh, well, you can start planning to do so today, don’t you?

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