One of the most cost effective home improvement techniques is to take advantage of energy efficient technology. It can help lower energy costs from your utility every month and has one of the shortest payback periods of any home improvement options. Unfortunately, there are some serious mistakes that can be made in regards to energy efficiency which can ultimately extend this payback period. So what are the biggest energy efficiency mistakes to avoid when fixing up your home?
- Failing To Implement Passive Design
- Undervaluing Insulation
- Failing To Hire The Proper Professionals
- Letting Cool Gadgets Convince You To Overspend
- Failing To Run The Numbers
Failing To Implement Passive Design
Passive design is the idea of making your home more energy efficient just by how it is constructed. This mistake is especially true for new construction homes. Although it is possible to implement aspects of passive design in existing homes by adding windows to the south face of your home or utilizing certain floor types that are able to hold heat in the winter and deflect heat in the summer, it is much easier to do so from scratch. Implementing passive design features in your home's design is a great way to reduce energy bills from the very beginning and improve the energy efficiency of any building.
The majority of energy usage in any home goes toward either heating or cooling. While it is possible to purchase energy efficient heating and cooling systems, the biggest energy saver actually has nothing to do with a system that uses electricity. Instead, perhaps the most important part of energy efficiency is the proper use of insulation. Even if you use the most energy efficient appliances and heating and cooling units, lack of proper insulation can drive your utility bills up through the roof. Insulation is a cheap and effective way to both keep warm air in during the winter and keep hot air out during the summer. Being able to keep heating and cooling units entirely off will yield the lowest utility bills which is entirely possible if your insulation is professionally installed.
Failing To Hire The Proper Professionals
The energy efficiency industry has grown to the point where dozens of businesses have built their business model around the idea of finding short term payback methods of implementing more efficient fixtures and appliances in homes and commercial properties. Unfortunately, as this industry grows, there are some less than qualified groups seeking to do this work in the hopes of increasing profits of an existing business. That is why it is imperative to do your research to find people who can properly outfit your home for energy efficiency upgrades. In fact, Ryan Bealmear, who is the President of Teague Electric, will tell you, “Hiring the right professional for a home improvement job can ultimately save homeowners thousands down the road.” This is largely because when the wrong person for the job is hired, things are missed, jobs are done incorrectly, and homeowners end up paying for someone to come in and do the job the right way anyhow.
Letting Cool Gadgets Convince You To Overspend
All too often, consumers get drawn in by cool gadgets that promise to make your home more energy efficient. While it is true that most of them make your home slightly more efficient, the associated cost may not be worth it. It is imperative that consumers not allow their need to improve their energy efficiency by an incrementally smaller amount allow them to overspend on products that will be obsolete in the near future. Energy efficiency is about sensibility and your want to avoid excess consumption.
Failing To Run The Numbers
At the end of the day, energy efficiency is nothing more than a numbers game. It's easy to figure out how many fewer kilowatt hours a new appliance or home design feature will consume. You can then multiply this value by the cost you pay for electricity and find out your annual savings. The total cost of the upgrade divided by this value is then the payback period. Any payback period under five years is typically seen as a good purchase in the world of energy efficiency. If you fail to run the numbers, you can end up having a much longer payback tie than expected.