Energy-efficient homes not only help a homeowner save money but are also good for the planet. Household features that increase energy efficiency don’t need to be drab or ugly. Here are three stylish ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Light-Blocking Window Coverings
One way to help control a home’s temperature is to regulate the amount of sunlight that passes through the windows. The cooler a house stays in the summer, the less air conditioning that’s needed to keep the space comfortable. In the morning, before leaving the house for work, cover windows by either closing the blinds or drawing light-colored curtains that can help deflect the sun and its warmth.
To further upgrade your efficiency and style, invest in solar shades designed specifically to reflect the sun’s rays. Solar shades can be either manual or remote-controlled and can add style and value to a home.
Ceiling fans are having a resurgence in home design, and it’s not just because producers are creating beautiful models that range from steampunk rustic to ultramodern. Ceiling fans provide an efficient way to help control airflow through a house.
Heat rises and gets trapped near the ceiling. In the winter you could be chilly on the couch, while the air above your head is toasty warm. Regulate airflow and push the warm air back down where it belongs by turning on the ceiling fan in a clockwise direction. This will help mix the warm air with the cooler air below it, creating a more comfortable temperature. In the summer, turn the ceiling fan on counterclockwise to create a refreshing downdraft. Remember to turn the fan off, however, to conserve energy when no one’s home.
Advances in lighting technology have come a long way from incandescent light bulbs and their short lifespans. Today, the best option for lighting is the light-emitting diode (LED) bulb. LED bulbs are 90 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last much longer.
When LED bulbs first came on the market, the reaction was mixed, as they originally emitted a harsh light. These days, LED bulbs are much better at mimicking the comforting glow of incandescent bulbs and come in a variety of tints to help discerning homeowners create inviting lighting zones. While you can use LED bulbs in existing light fixtures, designers are creating unique and beautiful lights with built-in LEDs.
In addition to being energy-efficient, smart LED light bulbs give owners a way to inject more style into a home. You can control smart bulbs with a smartphone or tablet, making it easy to change lighting styles and layout with the tap of a button. Many LED light bulbs can also change tone and color, which can create a new vibe in a room in a matter of seconds.
Energy efficiency doesn’t need to be boring. Window coverings, ceiling fans, and LED lighting all offer ways to not only lower your utility bills but also spruce up your home.