Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
You can either watch climate change news and sigh, or get up
and do something about it. The lessons on energy efficiency in school textbooks
are not limited to exams alone. Adopting those techniques in your living spaces
is good for the environment. No, we won’t throw statements like you can change
the world by making your home energy efficient. But you sure can reduce
pollution and cut energy bills.
In layman’s terms, energy efficiency is simply using less
energy to get the same job done. Think of it as an LED light bulb that sheds
the same light, but eats up less energy. Many newly constructed buildings are
energy efficient, sometimes old buildings are renovated for this purpose.
Though such buildings use less energy for heating and cooling, there are multiple
things often overlooked.
Reasons To Make Your Home Energy Efficient
Identifying Where Your Home Is Losing Energy
You cannot just decide you need efficient energy one day when you don’t know your house well. You need to first identify where exactly your home is taking up more power. Tackling such individual aspects will ensure you solve the right problems and you don’t end up wasting money or time. For this, take a walk-through of your home and inspect where the problems lie. Carry a checklist and note areas that need energy efficient upgrades. This allows you to identify which parts of your home need upgrades on priority. You can get a professional home energy audit for this purpose or decide to do it yourself. If it’s the latter, let’s get down to how you can inspect and identify issues:
CALCULATE MY MOVE
There can be heat loss due to uninsulated walls, so check if
your home is well insulated. Touch the interior walls, floors, and ceilings of
all rooms to see if they are warm or cold. If they are warm, keep concerns at
bay, but there might be a problem if they are cold to touch. Similarly, the
external walls of the house should feel cool to the touch. That will indicate
the warm air kept inside the home by insulation.
Take a ladder and go up to the attic, examine if the
openings to pipes, chimney, and ductwork are properly sealed. Inspect if there
is a vapor barrier like tar paper or a plastic sheet under the attic
insulation. Make sure the insulation is not blocking any attic vents. Now go
downstairs to the basement, if it opens up to the exterior, check if the living
room floors are insulated. For this, just flash a torch and check for
There is a considerate energy saving after sealing drafts
and air leaks. Locating such air leaks can be a tricky part. There can be
drafts along the edges of the flooring, frames of doors and windows, electrical
outlets, or plumbing fixtures.
An easy way to locate this would be going around the house
with a lit candle. Hover this candle around the parts of your home we mentioned
and see if the flame flickers. If the flame bends inward, then voila! you have
found an air leak. But don’t forget to switch off fans or anything that can
cause air disturbance before this exercise. You can even go outside and locate
if there are air leaks between two building materials.
If you have a forced-air central heating system, check for
air leaks in them. For this, just go through the seams and check for dirt
streaks. The presence of first streaks is a clear indicator of air leaks.
Ideally, you are supposed to inspect your heating system every year. If you
have newly moved in, ask the previous owner or tenant how old the systems are.
Your systems should not bleed through gaps and uninsulated spaces. If they are,
then maybe it's time to get an energy-efficient heating and cooling system
Now that you’ve thoroughly inspected your house and made
notes on the problem areas, you can now get down to making your house energy
efficient. Here’s how you can do that:
When you tightly seal all the drafts in your home, you will
reduce both energy consumption and utility bills. Sealed homes also improve the
quality of air within their four walls and make spaces comfortable. Don’t delay
weatherstripping the air leaks on the frames of your doors and windows. Any
openings or penetrations for plumbing pipes and electrical wires should be
sealed off with foam or caulk. If there are any cracks in your drywall, seal
them with beads of silicone caulk. Finally, go over to the electric switch
plates and install foam gaskets behind them.
Insulating your attic protects your home against moisture
damage and extreme temperatures. It makes sure the warm air stays in during the
winter months and cool air is locked during summers. Plus, an insulated attic
attracts lower heating and cooling costs.
We already elaborated on how you can identify if your attic
needs insulation. Once you are sure it lacks insulation, gather your tools. Use
spray foam to insulate the walls and floors of your attic, go for blanket
insulation for the edges and corners. Paint the interior ceilings of the attic
with vapor barrier paint if there is no vapor barrier. Look around for any
openings, seal the electric boxes with flexible caulk, and other gaps with foam
Though 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs are no
longer sold in the market as manufacturers stopped producing them in 2014, be
aware of your lighting. Go for greener bulbs like halogen incandescents, CFLs,
and LED bulbs. They consume 25% - 80% less energy than the old incandescent
lights. They are gentler on the pockets since they last 3-25 times longer than
traditional bulbs. If you are in a dilemma over CFLs and LEDs, go for LED bulbs
as they don’t contain mercury or lead like CFLs. Moreover, LEDs last longer
than CFLs. Make this conscious choice sooner as lighting takes up 11% of the
energy budget of an average home.
Heating and cooling systems take up almost half of the energy required by your home. Some small steps can reduce your carbon footprint. If that isn’t an attractive reason for you to find alternatives to heating and cooling, lower utility bills will surely be one. Start small like switching to ceiling fans in place of air conditioners, replacing air filters in heaters, installing programmable thermostats, etc. Take energy efficiency awareness to your kitchen, and use a wood stove or a pellet stove in place of furnaces.
Also See: How to Move a Wood Stove
Installing low-flow toilets and showerheads will reduce
water wastage significantly. You must be aware that toilets use a huge amount
of water. Loosen your pockets and install a low-flow 1.6-gallon toilet in place
of your old 3.5-gallon one. Do the math and see for yourself that you will end
up saving a huge 12,000 gallons of water per year! Go one step further and get
a dual-flush toilet that uses just 1 gallon of water per flush. Your
conventional showerhead uses 5 whole gallons of water per minute. Replace them
with low-flow ones that use only 2.5 gallons per minute. Don’t forget to pause
it as you lather up!
You will see less energy consumption when you avoid
electrical lighting. Make use of all that sun before dark comes knowing on your
door. Daylighting is a way where you use natural light as much as you can. Some
builders have started building living spaces and commercial complexes with
You can modify your home and design daylighting strategies
with the help of professionals. Include designs like skylights, light shelves,
clerestory windows, or light tubes and see the difference it makes. It’s going
to fill your home with natural light and keep your home naturally warm during
winter days. But you will need a heating system for winter nights, can’t argue
When you take small efforts like segregating wet and dry
waste, it’s going to be both energy-efficient and resource-efficient. The wet
waste can be put to good use within the house. As you start these practices,
you’ll be amazed at the reduction in waste your home produces. Make a compost
pile out of your organic waste. It’s not going to eat up a lot of space in your
backyard, just dedicate a container to it. The peels from your vegetables,
fruits, or any kitchen waste will go into the compost, making it a great
fertilizer. This way, you give back only good things to nature.
Of the entire energy used by your washing machine, 90% goes
towards heating the water. Imagine the amount of energy you save if you decide
to wash each load with cool or warm water. Try to wait until there is a full
stack of clothes for a full load, as a medium load is going to use up more
water and energy than required. Small steps like air-drying your clothes on
racks or lines are going to save a little energy with every load. We know you
have a hundred chores to do, but paying attention to details like these is
You have no idea how much energy your desktop computer is
consuming right now. Desktop computers draw the energy of 175 watts, extremely
high right? So when it’s time to replace that computer, invest in a laptop.
Laptops use less electricity, almost 80% less than traditional desktop
computers. To top that, use a laptop and you will draw the energy of just 60
watts. Additionally, Energy Star-certified laptops are going to save much more
energy. They sure are expensive but are greener alternatives to desktops.
Consider this as a one-time investment towards lower fossil
fuel usage and saving energy bills. Install solar panels and your home will
generate electricity completely independently. Say adieu to utility companies
and their extravagant bills. Getting solar panels will look like an expensive
affair, but they enable you to qualify for annual tax incentives. Pat yourself
on the back if you already decided to get solar panels installed, as they
combat greenhouse gas emissions and rely only on pure energy.
Apart from the bigger changes in your home, there are tiny
ways in which you can be more energy efficient in your home. Something as basic
as turning off the tap water while shaving or brushing is going to save gallons
of water every day. Here are small things you can do:
When you cook, bath, or work around the house, be mindful of energy consumption. As your family adapts to these techniques, you will reduce your carbon footprint. Greenify your home, not for those bills, but for the satisfaction of contributing to a better environment.
How Much Does A
Professional Energy Audit Cost?
The average cost of getting an energy audit done is $409
according to HomeAdvisor. Prices majorly depend on the size and type of the
house. This is why there is no cap on how much cost you will incur. Expect to
pay anywhere between $100 and $1,650 depending on your space. Be ready to shell
out more if you live in a larger property or a multi-unit building. Keeping the
costs aside, professional energy audits are usually worth it.
How Much Does It Cost
To Make The Home Energy Efficient?
It typically costs between $207 - $675 to make your home energy efficient. But it will vary on many factors like the number of energy-efficient upgrades you want. If you want to construct a home that is energy efficient, then it will cost you $100/square foot for standard home construction. Whereas a net-zero home, that is designed specifically for energy conservation will cost you $109.80/square foot.
See also: Most Eco-friendly Cities in America
Fill Out the Form and Get 100% Free Moving Quote!
Expert & Professional
High Quality Work
Complete the form to get instant quotes! Its that easy!
We will send you a text with a short verification code
9Kilo brings the movers directly to you!
We'll find the top moving companies for your needs and have them
call you right away. Search no more. Just sit back and relax!
This is your estimated moving cost.
Professional movers will contact you within one business day.
Get a personalized quote in minutes.