Energy-Efficient tips for Small Scale Homes

Designing your next project with sustainability in mind can help your home run cleaner and more affordably. The following tips are directed at making your small scale home and community more energy efficient.

Solar Panel Systems With solar technology improving and more homeowners than ever adopting solar energy, many are finding that going solar is worth the investment. Although, how much money you save depends on the size of your system, local laws, rebates and electric bill. A recent study performed by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center on the solar savings in the country's 50 largest cities, showed that customers who invested in a 5,000-watt solar PV system saved an average of $44-$187 per month during the first year.

Windows Windows bring warmth, light and ventilation into your home. New windows encourage reduced heating and cooling costs while enhancing your curb appeal. Older windows often allow air to leak in and out which forces your home's heating and cooling systems to work much harder. This leads to energy waste and higher costs. According to Energy Star, homeowners can save between 7 and 15 percent on their energy bill by replacing existing windows with energy-efficient windows. Installing energy star certified windows can save you hundreds of dollars each year according to data from the Remodeling Impact Report. Energy star certified windows are independently tested, verified and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), which makes them a much better choice than non-efficient window upgrades.

Insulation Your small scale home's energy costs and family's comfort can be significantly improved with an Insulation upgrade. Replacing or increasing your insulation helps your heating and cooling systems run less which in turn reduces your energy bills. Bring an older homes insulation up to modern standards can offer some worth while savings. According to the EPA, you can save an average of 15 percent on heating and cooling costs with insulation and air sealing home improvement projects.

Roofing Materials Cool roofing is gaining popularity among homeowners and for good reason. In the United States about 90 percent of roofs are dark-colored. This can attribute to an increase of more than 100 degrees in temperature which leads to a shorter life span for your roofing materials and increased use of cooling systems. There are various types of cool roofs including Green roofs, Tile Roofs, Metal roofing and Solar reflective coated roofs that can attribute to greater energy efficiency.

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