Looking to save a few bucks, and the environment while you’re at it? Energy efficiency is more than a fad with money-saving benefits, it’s a lifestyle with positive monetary, comfort, and environmental consequences. If you raise the energy efficiency of your home, you’re not only helping the environment, but you’re also bringing your Lubbock, Texas, home closer to that sanctuary you’ve always wanted it to be. “Greenify” your home and you’ll save money and increase comfort and health for you and your family. Here’s three ways to help you get started.
Cut Out Commercial Cleaners
You may think that the best way to start cleaning up your environment is to clean your home, but watch how you do it. Many household cleaners contain dangerous chemicals that are rarely listed with the ingredients of the cleaner, though they often fall under the vague category of “fragrances.” So, even if your home smells lemon-y, with every breath of that “fresh” air, you’re breathing in noxious chemicals that can cause headaches, allergic reactions, and other health issues.
Instead, start a habit of using more organic cleaners. When you aren’t sure if a cleaner contains those dangerous chemicals, you’re always safe sticking to the classic water and soap combination. If you’re having a hard time getting out those stains, add some baking soda to the mix. Rather than using Windex on glass, mix vinegar and water for a healthy mirror-cleaning solution.
Install a More Efficient HVAC System
Over time, HVAC systems lose efficiency and reliability. Eventually (usually around 10 years), your HVAC system will need to be replaced. And fortunately, in the decade that you’ve been using that original HVAC system, improvements have been made in the industry so that more efficient systems are available to customers.
Every type of HVAC system has become more efficient over the years, but some systems are naturally more efficient than others. For example, ductless (or mini-split) heat pumps eliminate the possible energy waste that can take place because of duct networks. By directly heating or cooling a room via an air handler, ductless systems are far more efficient than central heating and air.
Geothermal heat pumps, another efficient method of heating and cooling your home, transfers heat with the cool ground underneath your yard. While costly to install, geothermal systems will pay themselves off with the money you save while using them. Whether a ductless system, a geothermal heat pump, or a more efficient central system is the best fit for your family depends on your needs and your budget. But no matter what you choose, a more efficient system is bound to greenify your home.
Seal Thermal Envelope
You wouldn’t allow your car tires to continue leaking air if you knew it was happening. Instead, you would either have them patched or replaced. It’s possible, however, that you may be unaware of areas of your home leaking air. Any room that is poorly insulated or has breaches in the thermal envelope (any part of your home that separates the indoor air from outdoor air) is allowing your heated or cooled air to escape while allowing the cooler or warmer outdoor air inside.
Sealing your thermal envelope could turn into quite the DIY project, but containing that air will pay off. If you have one, your attic is a great place to start, since attics tend to be less insulated and prone to letting out air. Once you have sufficient insulation in your attic, check for breaches in the seals around windows or doors. A little weather stripping around doors and some caulk around windows will often do the trick, but some old windows may need to be replaced to truly seal off your home.
These three steps are only a few of the foundation stones to an energy-efficient lifestyle. But by putting your plan into action with this head start, you’ll be on your way to building the environmentally-friendly, comfortable, and healthy home that you and your family have always wanted. For more help raising the energy efficiency in your home, call BTAC at 806-589-1014.
Image provided by Shutterstock