Green Ideas for a More Energy Efficient Home

One of the main concepts behind “going green” is energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is important because it helps conserve and reduce the use of resources, which in turn decreases the demand on the Earth’s natural supplies.

There are many ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home, like properly insulating the walls and roof with an environmentally safe insulation product. Installing double-paned windows with good frames also helps insulate and save energy, and the combination of the two should significantly lower your heating and electricity bills.

Windows are a weak point where air commonly escapes–that means heat goes out in the winter and hot air comes in during the summer. Using windows with dual sheets of glass separated by a thin, air-tight space effectively diminish the conductivity of the windows. The pocket of air (which is generally filled with low-conductivity gas) defuses the transfer of heat between the interior and exterior, so your heater or air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to keep a comfortable temperature level in your home. Hence, lowering utility costs.

The application of a low emittance coating to your window panes will also help boost energy efficiency. This transparent layer is a microscopic film that works by reflecting heat, so the hot, stifling air of summer is driven away from the glass and heated, interior air in the winter is pushed back into the room.

When you consider around 45% of a home’s total energy consumption is attributed to heating and cooling, it’s clear insulating factors are a big part of creating an energy efficient environment. But let’s not forget about the other major prong of energy expenditure addressed by green technology–electricity.

Unplug everything! Appliances, even when they are turned off, use standby power which can rack up the kilowatts and bump up your electricity bill each month. It may be a pain to plug in the TV every time you want to watch a show, but when you know it’s using as much as 25% of its energy when not turned on, it might be worth the small inconvenience!

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