Five Energy-Smart Design Ideas for Your Home

Trends in design come and go but one that is here to stay is creating more energy-efficient and sustainably architectured homes. Designing a house that will offer protection from cold as well as the glaring Dallas sun should be a goal for any homeowner.

Here are five energy-smart ways you can improve your home:

1. Increase Your Insulation

The idea that only homes in cold regions need proper insulation is a surprisingly common mistake. Insulation is often associated with heat retention, but insulation is in fact just as important in regions like Texas that can get quite hot.

Ensuring that your house is properly insulated is the most important step in creating a more energy-efficient home. If the walls in your home aren’t helping to maintain indoor temperatures and protect from outside extremes temperature, you will be losing valuable air temperature control.

Have a professional inspect your home’s insulation and see where it can be improved. They will inspect not only the insulation within the walls, but also the doors and windows. Older windows are especially guilty of allowing in unwanted heat or cold.

If you’re remodeling or constructing a new house or addition consider using insulated concrete block walls. These wall systems offer far better insulative properties with less work and offer other benefits like superior protection against storms and outside noise reduction.

2. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting

While the use of LEDs and other energy-efficient lighting really do help lower costs, nothing is quite as impactful as taking advantage of free natural lighting. Once a very common practice with past generations, it seems as though many today rely purely on light bulbs rather than daylighting. Daylighting is simply the purposeful use of windows and skylights to illuminate the home.

You should carefully consider window placement within your home. For example, south facing windows are useful for winter sun but may need to be shaded in the summer. North facing windows are typically best for overall light and will allow the least summer heat from the sunlight. East and west facing windows will let in the most amount of sun in the mornings and evenings, respectively, which may add unwanted additional heat in warmer months.

Skylights are a wonderful idea in rooms where high-visibility is key, such as the kitchen or sitting room. Remember to use only ENERGY STAR® qualified windows whenever possible to reduce heat absorption.

3. Choose Energy Efficient Appliances

Making the exterior of your home more energy efficient is important, but so are the appliances you install within your home. Energy efficient appliances not only reduce your monthly utility bill, but also cause less environmental harm.

Chances are, if you go to any home or appliance store you’ll see ENERGY STAR stickers on many of the ovens, stoves, and refrigerators. ENERGY STAR certified appliances can use 33% less energy than other models and also are built to last longer. Though they may be a slightly more expensive investment, the combination of monthly savings as well as a longer working life means you are guaranteed to see long-term savings.

ENERGY STAR stoves and/or ovens will also disperse less heat into your home while in use. You’ll appreciate this element immensely when you’re cooking a meal in the midst of a hot Dallas summer!

4. Consider a Rooftop Garden

While not all of us in Dallas are able to have a rooftop garden, there is nothing quite as pleasant as spending an evening on the deck with family and friends. If you enjoy spending time outside, then consider a rooftop deck or garden. This adds a unique value to your home and will also reduce energy costs in ways a normal deck can’t.

Rooftop decks aren’t as difficult or expensive as you might assume. A rooftop deck will have a gap between the roof and the new deck which will help reduce heat absorbed by the roof. You can take it one step further and have a rooftop garden or green roof built. A green roof is essentially a garden right on your roof and will keep your home far cooler than any normal roof could.

5. Opt for Light Paint Colors

If you’re not ready for a significant remodel, there are some smaller steps you can take to reduce your energy use. In fact, little changes often add up to make a big impact. An excellent example of this is switching to lighter paint colors.

Light exterior colors naturally reflect sunlight which helps reduce heat absorption. Did you know that your choice of interior paint can also have an effect on energy costs? Choosing light shades for your also increases natural lighting thanks to this reflective trait.

Light colors don’t absorb heat which means your summers will be cooler and your winters will require less effort to heat your home. The improved natural sunlight will enable you to keep your lights off more often, effectively lowering your electricity bill.

Creating a more energy efficient home is a valuable process that can be done in steps that can fit any homeowner’s budget. It will help update your home, lower your energy bills, and decrease your environmental impact.

Contact us today for more information about going green in your Dallas-area home.

Posted on: August 8, 2017
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