From Insulation to Fixture Changes: Make Your Home Energy Efficient

Energy efficiency. Being “Green.” It’s plastered all around these days, and for good reason. You’ve most definitely heard of typical pieces of advice: buying high-efficiency appliances, replacing old incandescent light bulbs with fluorescents, and the like. Such tips are incredibly useful, since your home often wastes a lot of energy without you knowing it. About 35 percent can be lost through the roof alone, and more escape elsewhere.


So how can you make your home more energy efficient, and in turn, slash your power bills significantly? Perhaps one of the most important things you can do is start with the basics: insulation and air sealing.  Air sealing and proper insulation help by slowing down the rate at which heat flows out of your home in winter, or into it in summer. In turn, the house requires less energy to heat up or cool down. Air sealing and insulation go together and are equally important. There can be piles of insulation in your attic, but if it is not sealed it will not work and may harm your home. The home should also be blower door tested to find air leaks as they are a major source of energy loss. While you can go all DIY on this project, you’re still better off calling qualified home builders in or around Duluth, MN to handle the job for you.

Moving on, maybe it’s high time your older appliances are sent off to retirement. Older TVs, washing machines, fridges, and the like are energy guzzlers; you need to replace them with “greener” ones. When shopping for new appliances, always look for the Energy Star label which vouches for the device’s energy efficiency. Energy Star-certified items use about 10 to 50 percent less energy than those which aren’t, which will help bring your bills down in the long run.

Suppose you’ve already bought your new energy-efficient appliances. Is that the end of the quest to be “green?” Not really, because you can still augment their capacities. Case in point, “smart” power strips. These devices are mainly designed to protect appliances from electrical surges, though they also help in saving power by turning specific appliances on or off based on specific settings.

For the bathroom, it’s almost all about replacing old fixtures with newer ones of higher efficiency, which conserve water, such as low-flow toilets, water-saving shower valves, and faucets. High-efficiency shower valves, for one, typically use about half less water than typical shower heads whose flow rates average 2.5 gallons per minute. It also pays to keep leaks in check to conserve more water.

So there you have it. A bit of personal effort, coupled with help of reliable insulation contractors in Duluth, MN such as Lakeside Advanced Builders, can spell the difference between an energy-guzzling home and an environment-friendly one.

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