As the seasons begin to change here in Georgia, it’s never a bad time to make your house more energy efficient. If you own an older home, that may seem difficult if not impossible to accomplish. The truth is even newer homes struggle with energy efficiency, especially if they were built using cheap materials to cut costs for the builder. Whether your home was built 100 years ago or 10 months ago, there are three definite ways you can improve energy efficiency, boost curb appeal, and protect the structural integrity of your home.
Windows: Your home’s windows might be the number 1 culprit when it comes to energy loss. If you have single pane windows, popular especially in older homes, then you could be wasting a lot of money on heating and cooling that’s just escaping through your windows. Replacing single pane windows with new, double pane windows will go a long way in improving your home’s energy efficiency. If you already have double pane windows, another way to boost efficiency is by having your windows treated with low emissivity (or low-e) coating. Low-e coating reduces the amount of UV and infrared light that can pass through your window, effectively keeping your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer – kind of like a thermos. Lastly, it’s important to check the health of your window frames. Any cracks or rotting in the frames can lead to further damage, not to mention energy loss.
Siding: When was the last time you thought about the siding on your house? Chances are probably not very often, unless you’ve had a problem that was caused by faulty siding. New siding not only updates the visual appeal of your home but it also safeguards against insects, mold, and internal rot. “Soft walls” and gaps in siding can definitely cause temperature fluctuation and therefore energy loss in your home. Replacing your old and/or faulty siding will prevent damage to your home and keep it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Roofing: Last and certainly not least when it comes to your home’s energy efficiency is the roof. Everyone knows the importance of a watertight, workmanship guaranteed roof. It’s your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Obviously a roof keeps you dry but it can also keep your house warmer or cooler, depending on the season. Properly installed, your roof can reflect heat from the sun during those hot summer months and can serve as insulation during the winter. The right type of roofing material can also make a difference when it comes to efficiency. For example, asphalt shingles are affordable and easy-to-install and many meet EnergyStar standards. Additionally, wood shingles are durable and energy-efficient but can require more routine maintenance. With so many different options, your best bet as a homeowner is to find a contractor that you can trust and one that knows the best roofing system for your unique home.
Improving your home’s energy efficiency is a great investment in the near-term and the long term. Of course, replacing your windows, siding, and roofing all at once can be overwhelming. Take it one project at a time and know that with each improvement, you are upgrading your home and reducing your energy loss.