Home Energy Conservation and Renovations
It is common knowledge that saving energy is important to conserve natural, non-replenishing resources. To be effective, it takes the effort of families across the country and the world. Conserving energy at home is an important first step that can be accomplished through everyday energy-saving actions and necessary repairs and renovations to the home. Additionally, these actions provide the benefit of reducing a family's residential energy costs.
Home Energy Conservation
Energy conservation is a commitment that every person living in one's home should take seriously. It can begin with simple actions such as turning off lights in empty rooms and shutting off and unplugging electronic items and small appliances that are not in use. People should buy and use a programmable thermostat and set it to lower itself at night or when the house is unoccupied. Replacing air filters can also help conserve energy, as dirty filters tend to cause systems to work harder and subsequently use more energy. Homeowners should strive to replace their filters every three months or sooner if they are extremely dirty.
During the winter months, cold air can seep into one's home, making it less comfortable for occupants. In the warmer months, cool air can escape, making it more difficult to keep indoor temperatures down. Gaps and cracks around windows, doors, baseboards, and where the walls and ceiling meet are typically the culprit behind drafts. These leaks can greatly affect the amount of energy used to heat a home. Locate and seal these areas with weatherstripping or by plugging them with caulk. Adjusting how one uses large appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers, and dishwashers is another way to conserve energy. Ideally, they should only be run when there are full loads that require cleaning.
Home Renovation and Repair
Before making home renovations or repairs, homeowners should have an understanding of what changes will provide the most benefit in terms of comfort, safety, and energy conservation. A home energy audit can help point out areas of concern and is an important first step to take. Homeowners should also strive to educate themselves on the different techniques, changes, and services that can help improve problem areas in the home. Numerous resources are available to help people make informed decisions about whether simple repairs or improvements are required.
- Home Repair and Other Useful Ideas: Click this link to the Association for Learning Environments website to review a long list of educational and energy-related websites.
- Resources for Teachers, Parents, and Kids: Teach children about climate change and environmental concerns by clicking this link.
- Gorseland Electricity and Home Improvement Links: Kids who click this link will find links to educational websites that help them learn about electricity.
- Home Improvement and Other Tips to Conserve Electricity: Read some basic tips on how families can reduce the amount of electricity that's used in their homes. The site also includes a short list of resources.
- Energy Facts and Home Improvement: By clicking on this link to the Beyond the Bulb website, people can read up on some common facts about energy use and how to be more efficient. The page also includes a brief list of links to more energy facts for businesses, kids,and homeowners.
- Architecture and Environmental Links for the Educator: People who visit this site will find links for lesson plans, sustainable design, and related articles and sites.
- Environmental Links for Elementary- and Middle-School Kids: Families and teachers will find environmental information when they click this link.
- Cool Sites and Energy Tips for Kids: Menasha Utilities wants to help teach kids about how to save energy and help the environment by offering these conservation tips.
- Energy Tips: Home Repair and More: Educate kids on how to conserve energy with these helpful tips and links from the Oconto Falls Municipal Utilities website.
- Recycle Utah's Environmental Education Program: Teachers of Park City, Utah, who are interested in the Recycle Utah Environmental Education Program may click this link to review information about school visits and lessons, field trips, and summer camp.
- Home Improvement Tips to Make Your Home Safer for Someone with Alzheimer's: Living with a loved one who has Alzheimer's can be a challenge, particularly when it comes to keeping them safe. This article discusses small changes and home improvements that can help create a safer environment for them.
- Homes for Sale: Home-Buying Resource Center: Before buying a house, prospective buyers should click this link to the Nicholson Realty website. On this page, they will find a list of links to sites and articles on home-buying.
- Home Repair Guidance: Types of Foundation Repair You Should Know: Homeowners who click this link can read a guide on foundation repairs. The guide discusses foundation types, choosing the right foundation, and repair techniques.
- Three Home Repair Issues That Require Professional Help: Home repairs are an unfortunate reality when it comes to home ownership. Click this link to the Desperate Houselife blog and read about three of the top repair issues that require professional assistance.
- Turning Your House Into a Home: Repair Your Finances: Adding personality to your new home to make it your own requires a bit of thought and financial planning.
- Remodeling Resources: Learn about topics like making your bathroom shower more appealing and how to improve your countertops here.
- How Can Home Energy Efficiency Be Improved? Click this link to go to an article by the Florida Solar Energy Center about how to reduce energy waste in the home. It talks about residential building energy performance, cooling load sources, and heating load sources.
- Which Home Improvements Are Worthwhile? Read an article about home improvements on the University of Illinois Extension website. It includes a link to the Home Energy Saver Calculator from the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Tax Credit for Residential Energy-Efficiency Renovations: Go here to read about the Energize Ohio tax incentives for home improvements.
- Get Paid for Home Improvements: Go to the Arlington, Texas, government website to read up on rebates that the government offers for certain home improvement projects. It talks about eligibility requirements, and there is a section with links to related forms at the bottom.
- Loan Programs for Property Repairs: Find out about home improvement and repair programs in West St. Paul, Minnesota, on this page.
- Home Maintenance and Improvement: Find resources related to home improvements and repairs. These include journals, basic texts, handbooks, and other reading materials.
- Larimer Home Improvement Program: The Estes Park Housing Authority website has a page dedicated to a home improvement loan program here.
- Home Improvement Fraud/Theft: The city of Plano, Texas, offers tips about avoiding home improvement fraud on this page.
- Your Home Environment Resource: Readers looking for advice on the dangers of home remodeling can find useful tips on the University of Nebraska Lincoln website.
- Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit: Energize Ohio offers information about a tax credit for home improvements that cut energy waste.
- New Jersey's Green Home Remodeling Guidelines Version (NJGHRG) 1.0: Visit the Rutgers Center for Green Building for information about eco-friendly home remodeling guidelines. A downloadable version is available at the bottom of the page.
- Gains in Home Renovation Spending Likely to Continue: Click this link to read an article by the Joint Center for Housing Studies about home improvement spending.
- Database of the Week: Huie Library provides brief information about Gale's Home Improvement Collection.
- Covenant Administration: Home Improvement Process: The Woodlands Township of Texas requires that home improvements first get approval by a committee of homeowners. Visit this page for more information.
- Home Improvement Workshops: The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee has a page with brief information about their home improvement workshops.
- Carpentry, Electrical, and HVAC Classes: Delaware County Community College offers information about home remodeling and other classes on this page.
- Illinois' Real Estate Market Is Regaining Some Lost Ground: The University of Illinois Springfield has an article about the state of the real estate market in Illinois on this page.
- Your Home: Home Improvement: Visit the state of Georgia's website for information about choosing a home improvement contractor.