How to create an energy-efficient home for 2019
5 takeaways from Fixr’s energy-efficient home trends report
Every year, Fixr publishes a series of home trend reports that showcase the leading trends in several parts of the home industry. For 2019, this includes an Energy-Efficient Home Trends report, made up of answers from top industry experts.
Homeowners who are wondering the best places to invest their money in order to save energy and lower their bills can definitely benefit from the results published in this report.
The report itself includes information that industry professionals and homeowners alike can use to make better decisions about home energy usage. The following takeaways, however, are universally applicable and bound to help anyone who wants to save energy moving forward.
What motivates homeowners
Many people make assumptions about the reasons behind a trend, but assumptions can only get you so far. This report helps uncover the true motivation behind why homeowners are making energy-efficient purchases for their homes.
The number one reason is the money that they’ll save. With energy costs on the rise, it makes sense for homeowners to invest in energy saving methods now to help combat higher bills in the future.
Of course, this isn’t the only reason why people want to make changes; many people are also highly motivated by a concern for the environment and climate change. Increasing a home’s value and boasting an energy-efficient status symbol also drive improvements.
Which home efficiency improvements can make a difference?
Sealing your home is one of the most recommended methods of saving energy and money. But it’s important to know where to seal in order to make the most of your project. See the chart below for effectiveness scores, with 5 being the most effective:
Weatherstripping around windows and doors, as well as HVAC duct sealing, are the two places you’re going to have the biggest impact. Air leaks are places where your home is exchanging outdoor air for indoor air, allowing heat to transfer out of your home in the winter and into it during the summer. Sealing air gaps helps create a tighter building envelope, which in turn saves you money.
For some homeowners, replacing their current windows with more energy efficient versions can also be an important step to reducing energy transfer.
What else can help? Insulation
Most people know how important attic insulation is for the home and for saving energy, but there are a lot of choices on the market that don’t necessarily make the grade.
When it comes to choosing the right material, two insulations tie for the most popular – fiberglass and cellulose. Both can help reduce energy transfer in this important area, making your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Again, see the chart below:
If you’re looking to extend your insulation outside of the attic area, however, fiberglass insulation is the most popular when it comes to helping to create a tight building envelope as well. See the numbers:
Changing appliances can save money
Appliances use a lot of energy on a daily basis, and replacing them with Energy Star rated models can help you save. The key, however, is to strategically replace your appliances; dryers and refrigerators will show the biggest impact on savings out of any other major appliance. So, if you can only replace one or two, focusing on this area will have the highest payoff.
In addition, your home may also have several energy vampires that use more energy than you’re aware of. Space heaters and window air conditioning units both top the list of those appliances that could be using more energy than you think.
See the light on lighting
Lighting is integral to every home, and nearly everyone is aware that it’s also a big part of your energy bill. According to experts, they expect that as the cost of LED lights begins to drop, more people will begin to invest, which will lead to savings.
To maximize these savings, they recommend daylighting to help reduce the need for electric lighting during the day, while they also add that more people are beginning to use smart devices to control their lighting. This can lead to better, more thoughtful usage of how the fixtures are used, and in turn, could help you save.
Why not start saving today?
Everyone can benefit from learning more about the best ways to save energy in the home. By paying attention to the trends uncovered by industry experts, you can make better decisions regarding your own energy usage.
Cristina Miguelez is the content manager at Fixr.com, a website that connects consumers with service professionals in their area and estimates the cost for remodeling projects. She writes about home improvement tips and tricks to help homeowners make better remodeling decisions.