By Mike Johnston (Guest Writer)
Creating an environmentally-friendly home is no easy task. Whether your motivation stems from concern about the environment or the reduction of household bills, designing a home that is energy-efficient is something that our planet could benefit from. Let’s take a look at the list of five ways for turning your old home into an energy-efficient home of the future.
Install a programmable thermostat to save energy
With energy bills rising in all parts of the world, many homeowners are looking for ways to combat this trend. Therefore, it’s no surprise that more and more homeowners are turning to programmable thermostats. Easily adjustable to fit your needs, thermostats help cut energy bills, and for each degree you raise or lower your home’s temperature, you can save up to two percent on your next energy bill.
Thermostats can be programmed according to your schedule, automatically changing the temperature throughout the day. Many of us tend to keep our ACs on for the most part of the day, but the truth is, there is no need to do that since it only leads to high energy bills. Programmable thermostats also come in handy when you aren’t home for longer periods of time, such as weekend trips. They won’t cool or heat your house when it’s empty, and you can easily program them to turn back to the desired temperature right before you get back.
Replace old electrical wiring
When transforming an old house into an energy-efficient home, new electrical wiring can make all the difference. Older homes use much more energy than they’re supposed to, resulting in high energy bills. What’s more, outdated electrical systems are too weak for modern-day electricity usage, and they aren’t compatible with most devices and appliances. On top of that, corroded and exposed wiring are common in old houses, and if not dealt with immediately, they can pose a threat to you and your family.
Some developed countries, like Australia for instance, have very stringent electrical safety regulations. That is why many Aussie homeowners rely on expert Sydney electrician teams to upgrade their electrical wiring and prepare their house for the future. By rewiring the electrical system, you’ll help prevent short circuits and overloads, ensuring your home is safe and risk-free. Also, your thermostat will distribute heating and cooling more efficiently because of the new wiring, thus making your whole house energy-efficient.
Upgrade the insulation in your old house
Insulation plays an important role in preserving energy in our homes. Back in the day, there weren’t as many insulating options as there are nowadays, so chances are that your old home could use an upgrade in terms of insulation. Poorly insulated home results in massive energy losses, costing you more in the long run. On the other hand, a house that is properly insulated prevents the heat and cool air from escaping, which means that less energy is needed to maintain the optimal temperature inside the house. You can even take it a step further and opt for green insulation made from wool, cotton, or recycled cellulose – how great is that?
Make the switch – swap the old lighting fixtures for LED lighting
Another essential step in creating a home that is energy-efficient is updating its lighting fixtures. It’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to upgrade your old home and reduce energy consumption. Converting to LED bulbs brings a lot of benefits and even though some homeowners are hesitant to make the switch to the new technology, with the global rise of environmental conscientiousness, we’re seeing more and more people turning to this alternative, eco-friendly solution.
LED lights were beyond the price point for a majority of consumers – until recently, that is. Nowadays, their price is nearing the cost of traditional bulbs, meaning LED technology is now more affordable than ever. Compared to CFLs and halogens, LEDs are 80% more efficient, and installing them will result in energy savings, which translates to lower energy bills every month. They also don’t require maintenance and last much longer than standard lightbulbs, which means you’re producing less waste, thus reducing your carbon footprint.
Opt for energy-efficient kitchen appliances
After you’ve tackled the bigger tasks, you can now move on to furnishing your old home with some eco-friendly kitchen appliances. Like the majority of things in old homes, dated kitchen appliances are to blame for energy wasting and high utility bills. Our kitchens are places where we spend a lot of time, and therefore, consume a large amount of energy on a daily basis. Switching to green appliances will help bring down your electricity bill considerably, so think about removing your old dishwasher and refrigerator, as they’re energy hogs in the house, and investing in their energy-saving versions to help yourself, your wallet, and our planet!
Conserving energy is important, both for ourselves and Mother Nature. Use the tips above to improve the energy efficiency of your old house, retaining its charm while simultaneously bettering it for the future.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid freelance writer and blogger. He is a regular contributor to the Smooth Decorator blog. Mike’s specialties are home improvement and interior design, but he also loves writing about small business, entrepreneurship, family life, green living and many other topics. Mike’s goal is to create interesting and compelling content that will help readers navigate through these vast and ever-changing fields.