Moving Made Easy: Save Money and Energy With These Energy Efficiency Tips
Moving into a new home can be exciting, but it can also bring some unexpected costs. One of the biggest expenses that comes with a new home can be higher energy bills. Factors such as inefficient windows, high ceilings, and old appliances can all contribute to high energy costs. But there are several things you can do to save energy and money in your new space. Here are some energy efficiency tips that can help you save money.
Revamp Your Windows
One crucial factor to consider when moving is the age and condition of the windows in your new home. Old windows can be a significant source of energy loss because they often have single-pane glass, which lacks the insulating properties of multiple layers of glass. Single-pane glass allows heat to easily transfer through the window, resulting in heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer. If your new home has old, inefficient windows, consider replacing the old windows with energy-efficient options. Energy-efficient windows are designed to keep the heat inside during the winter and outside during the summer, which can help you reduce your heating and cooling costs. Additionally, many energy-efficient windows come with a low-e coating that helps reduce the amount of UV and infrared light that enters your home; this can help keep your home cooler during the summer. Newer windows can also enhance the “curb appeal” of your home and potentially increase its value.
If replacing all the windows in your new home isn’t feasible, there are still some upgrades you can consider to enhance the windows’ energy efficiency. Upgrading weatherstripping and caulking, applying window film, using insulating window treatments, installing storm windows, using window insulation kits, and implementing window coverings can all improve the performance of your existing windows. By making these upgrades, you can enhance energy efficiency, reduce drafts, and make your home more comfortable while avoiding the need for a complete window replacement.
Use a Ceiling Fan for High Ceilings
Vaulted ceilings can be visually appealing, but if your new home features high ceilings, keeping it cool during the summer can be a challenge. Heat tends to gather near the ceiling, making the lower areas feel warmer. To tackle this issue, consider installing ceiling fans throughout your home. Ceiling fans create a gentle breeze that increases air circulation, helping distribute the cool air and making your home feel cooler. By using ceiling fans strategically, you can enhance airflow, improve the effectiveness of your cooling system, and, potentially, reduce your summer cooling costs.
Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
If you’re moving into a new home or apartment, you’ll want to consider the energy efficiency of the appliances that come with it. Old appliances can be a significant source of energy waste. Newer appliances are designed to use less energy, which can help reduce energy bills. Look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which means the appliance meets Environmental Protection Agency energy efficiency guidelines. Many energy-efficient appliances also come with features like timers and sensors, which can further reduce energy use.
Check the Age of Your Home
The age of your home can also be a major factor in your energy bills. Older homes tend to be less energy efficient. They often have outdated insulation and aging HVAC systems, in addition to inefficient appliances. If you’re moving — or contemplating a move — to an older home, consider getting a professional energy audit or performing an audit yourself performing one yourself. An energy audit can help identify areas of the home where you may be losing energy and can yield recommendations on how to make the home more energy efficient.
And if You’re Renting . . . Talk to Your Landlord
There are plenty of ways to save money if you’re moving to a new rental home as well. Make sure you ask the landlord about the average monthly energy costs. Then see if the landlord is willing to make energy-efficient upgrades to help with future expenses. A property owner may be open to reducing your rent if you take on projects — like sealing air leaks and arranging a heating and air conditioning checkup — to improve the home’s efficiency in the long term. Virginia Energy Sense has a helpful guide to energy saving for renters as well.
Moving into a new home can be daunting. But whether you rent or own, making your new living space more energy efficient can enhance its comfort and safety while helping you save on your energy bills. Learn more about saving energy at home with helpful tips from Virginia Energy Sense.