How To Make Your Older Hawaii House Energy Efficient
Energy efficiency is a top priority for Hawaii homeowners who want to do their part to help the environment while also saving money on their monthly electricity bills. However, being environmentally conscious might be difficult when living in an older house.
Many of these homes were not built using sustainable materials and were not meant to be energy efficient. In addition, because of the evolution of components like insulation and windows, many older houses now feature outdated elements.
The good news is that you don’t have to demolish your house and start over. It is typically less expensive to renovate using greener, more energy-efficient components. In this article, we’ll cover several ways for making your older Hawaii home energy efficient.
Take A Look At Your Energy Usage
Defining and narrowing the scope of the issue is an essential first step in any effort to improve energy efficiency. For an older home, locating the sources of heat gain is a necessary step in this process. An energy audit is the best approach to find out what’s wasting your money instead of relying on guesswork.
In many cases, you can get an energy audit for free or at a low cost from your local utility company or government agency. Even if your local government or other services don’t do this, it’s still a good idea to invest in an audit. As soon as you identify and repair efficiency issues, you’ll save money on your utility bills instantly as well as benefit in the long run. Additionally, you may be able to claim a tax break for making energy-saving improvements.
Try to find an auditor with expertise in assessing old houses because they will be more knowledgeable regarding the structure, insulation types, and out-of-date construction materials and methods used.
Replace Your Outdated Appliances With Energy Star-Certified Models
The technology in old appliances is often out of date. For this reason, their energy efficiency is often lower than the most recent versions. And, if they’re already worn out and in poor shape, they may also consume more power than they should. If you continue to use them, you may be wasting your money. On the other hand, modern gadgets and appliances are almost always built to be more energy-efficient than previous generations.
Energy Star-labeled products meet the EPA’s energy efficiency standards, making them excellent options. This guarantees a reduction in energy consumption of around 10% to 50% compared to other equivalent appliances. While purchasing new appliances can be pricey, the money you save on your monthly utility bills will pay for the investment in the long run.
Improve The Insulation System
Because of the climate in Hawaii, a heating and air conditioning system is a must-have. You can use it to keep your home comfortable all year round, especially during the dry season. However, if you don’t insulate your home, your electricity bills will soar. When your HVAC system generates cool air, most of it escapes through your roof and other unsealed openings.
As a result, you are forced to set your air conditioning to its maximum capacity to maintain a comfortable temperature. To avoid the unbearable heat inside, you need to always keep the air conditioner on, leading to increased energy consumption. This can be prevented with proper insulation.
Sadly, many older homes are not properly insulated. An experienced contractor can inspect your property and help you calculate how much insulation is needed to achieve the best possible efficiency. To be sure, you can cross-reference their assessment with the results of your energy audit.
Improve the Efficiency Of Your Air Conditioning And Heating System
Even if you currently have central heating and cooling in your house, you may want to consider upgrading. Your HVAC system should be replaced if it is over 10 to 15 years old with one that’s Energy Star compliant.
Although HVAC systems have an average lifespan of roughly twenty years, the rate of innovation in this industry may suggest that even modern homes can profit from an overhaul in their HVAC system. Several common old-home issues can be fixed with a new HVAC, including excessive dust, inconsistent room temperatures, and high humidity levels.
Using Energy-Efficient Materials In Your Remodeling
When renovating your home, you may need to upgrade a few elements such as windows and doors, drywall, flooring, and paint. It’s a good time to use products that are more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.
There was a time when gypsum was used to build walls in older homes. You can now install environmentally friendly drywall that is more resistant to moisture and mold growth and provides better insulation. Additionally, you can upgrade your windows to be more energy efficient. The best windows have argon gas between the two panes to keep out the heat. Finding a contractor capable of working with these materials and obtaining them at reasonable pricing is often necessary.
Equip Your Home With Low-Wattage Lighting Fixtures
When compared to other home improvement jobs, such as upgrading household appliances or installing brand new windows, switching to more energy-efficient lightbulbs is a relatively inexpensive alternative. You’ll also save money in the long run because most energy-efficient light fixtures are more durable and long-lasting than incandescent bulbs.
For example, compact fluorescents (CFLs) use two-thirds of the energy of regular bulbs while lasting ten times as long. A dimmable CFL can set you back as much as $14 per bulb, although most are priced between $3 and $5. LED lights are also making their way into the domestic market, but they’ll cost you at least $15 each. The good news is that they can last for a long time.
Use Smart Home Devices
After you’ve addressed the most pressing issues, you can install smart home technology to help you keep your house’s energy consumption in check. Here are some products that can improve the energy efficiency of your home:
- Solar power: Solar panels harness the power of the sun’s beams to generate electricity. Installing this technology in your home will allow you to save money on your energy bills while also qualifying for tax incentives. Even if you don’t go with a complete solar panel system, solar water heaters can lower your energy costs.
- Programmable thermostat: Your home’s temperatures can constantly be maintained with this device. You can program your HVAC system to operate at the lowest possible energy consumption throughout the day when everybody is away. Then, program it to a higher setting at night when the family is home. You don’t have to worry about remembering to do this since the programmable thermostat will do it for you.
- Smart lighting systems: Smart lighting systems, which turn off on their own or when motion is detected in the room, are another option.
Nowadays, having an energy-efficient home is more important than ever. From helping the environment to saving money, doing so can offer you many benefits. However, it also comes with challenges, especially for older Hawaii homes.
This article has discussed some of the numerous ways of how to make your older Hawaii house energy efficient. We hope that this can help you get started on your goals.
If you’re looking for a professional to help you upgrade your home to be more energy-efficient, Handy Andy Hawaii is your best bet! Our Hawaii handyman service technicians and veterans are among the best in the business, so you know you can rely on us for top-notch work. Give us a call at 808-285-3443 to learn more about services.
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