Energy-efficient improvements are worthwhile investments. First, they can cut down your costs by up to 40 percent, saving you hundreds of dollars on your utility bills every year. Second, going green at home means you’re helping heal the planet.
You don’t have to make major changes to your lifestyle to be more energy-efficient. If you’re looking to enhance the energy efficiency of your South Florida home, consider these small and simple upgrades:
#1 Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances
If your home is over fifteen years old, it’s time to replace your appliances with energy-efficient ones. Air conditioners, boilers, furnaces, etc. that were made more than a decade ago likely don’t meet today’s standards. They’re also using up more energy than necessary.
Since appliances account for 13 percent of your energy use, you should pay attention to when your appliances are set to “expire”. If you’ve hired a property manager, they’ll be able to help you keep track of your appliances’ lifespan.
Replace your appliances as needed. If possible, choose appliances that have the Energy Star rating. The star rating means that the product satisfies federally mandated standards on energy efficiency.
#2 Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable or “smart” thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature even when you’re away. It also lets you program your climate control systems so that they automatically turn on or off according to schedule.
For instance, if no one is at home from 9 AM to 5 PM, you can program your thermostat to power down during those times. If you get home from work at 6 PM, your programmable thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature so that you come home to a cool and comfortable house.
It is estimated that the average household in the U.S. can save as much as $130 per year by using a programmable thermostat.
#3 Seal windows and doors
Does your single-family home feel drafty? If your home has holes or openings, your heating and cooling systems will have to work twice as hard to keep your home warm or cool. This is because the air that it’s trying to keep indoors is always trying to escape. Weather-stripping or caulking around doors and windows is an effective way to regular indoor temperatures.
If your home has single-pane windows, you may want to replace them with double-paned models. When it comes to insulation, consider choosing wood-clad frames. They’re pricier than aluminum and vinyl, but the energy savings make them worth the price.
We also advise conducting a blower door test to pinpoint air leaks in your home. A property management company can help you find a reliable energy auditor.
#4 Improve your lighting
Incandescent bulbs waste electricity. This is because they produce 90% heat and 10% light. In addition, incandescent bulbs have a lifespan of 1,000 hours while a LED bulb usually lasts 25,000 hours.
LED lights are more energy-efficient, producing four times as much light while using less electricity. According to Energy Saver, LED lights use 75-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. That translates to savings of as much as $75 per month!
If your home has a lot of natural light, you may not even need artificial lights at all! By drawing your curtains, you can bring light into your home without using energy.
#5 Insulate your attic
Hot air naturally rises. Hence, if your attic has poor insulation, warm air will escape, leaving you with a poorly heated home. If your home was built decades ago, you’ll benefit from adding an extra layer of insulation to your attic. An under-insulated home can lead to heat loss, which means that your heating systems will have to run longer to maintain a comfortable climate.
According to the Department of Energy, a well-insulated attic can reduce your heating bill by 10 to 50 percent.
#6 Install ceiling fans
Have you ever tried using your air conditioner and ceiling fan simultaneously? Using both at once can improve the air circulation in your home. During colder months, ceiling fans can blow that hot air that rises back into the room. In warmer months, ceiling fans work with the air conditioner to lower the temperature by up to four degrees.
The best part? Ceiling fans cost cents to operate. If your home doesn’t have a ceiling fan, consider buying one from your local home improvement store.
Benefits of an Energy-Efficient Home
An energy-efficient home not only reduces your carbon footprint, but also cuts your costs, enhances your quality of living, and much more. Let’s take a look at the benefits of having an energy-efficient home:
- Reduces your utility bills. Energy-efficient homes in South Florida significantly use less energy. As a result, your utility bills will be significantly lower. For reference, using an Energy Star washing machine leads to a 35% reduction in electricity.
- Offers a more comfortable environment. When your home is energy-efficient, it’s also well-ventilated. This means that you won’t have to worry about South Florida’s scorching hot summers. You’ll be comfortable year-round.
- Gets rid of pests. Have ants and termites made their way into your home? By sealing entry points such as gaps in the window, you’ll block insects and critters from getting in.
- Better resale value. Today’s buyers want energy-efficient homes. If you’re planning on selling your home in the future, energy-efficient upgrades are an excellent idea. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), if your home can save up to $1,000 on energy, your prospective buyers will be willing to pay $8,728 more.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to make your home more energy-efficient. By going green, you can reduce your carbon footprint, enhance your comfort, and cut your utility costs.
At Luxury Property Care, we help South Florida homeowners have energy-efficient homes. Our team will take the time to optimize your property by working alongside the industry’s leading energy experts, technicians, and more. Whether you’re improving your investment property or primary residence, we’re here to help you however we can.