This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine alone.
Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature throughout the year can be costly. However, there are many ways that you can improve the energy efficiency of your home. From replacing the doors/windows to installing new siding, different types of home improvements can reduce the rate of heat transfer from your home. Even if you’ve already undertaken some of the more popular ways to keep your home’s heating & cooling systems working efficiently, keep reading for more smart ways to make your house greener and to slash a little extra from your utility bills.
4 Smart Hacks to Keep Your Home Comfortable
1. Don’t paint it black!
Yes, this classic color choice from the 1966 Rolling Stones hit is great for conveying a mood, but it could also heat up your home. In a 2015 Allstate Blog post, contributor Cristel Mohrman mentioned the Department of Energy’s findings that darker paint colors typically absorb between 70-90% of the sun’s radiant energy. This means that darker buildings tend to accumulate a lot of excess heat. On the other hand, white walls gain ~35% less heat than black ones.
Not a big fan of white? There are workarounds! When you consult with your HVAC painters, simply choose colors with lighter values. Popular options include paler neutrals like the greige shades that are very trendy nowadays. I also love the serene shades of blue and green that are great for a home’s curb appeal. By the way, according to a recent Zillow study, painting the exterior of your home with a blend of gray and beige can increase your house’s resell value by up to $1,500…so keep that in mind if you’re planning on selling anytime soon!
2. Use blackout curtains!
A 2017 Huffington Post write-up offered up some smart tips to keep residential interiors cooler during the warmer months (and warmer during the cooler months). Number two on the list was the use of blackout curtains, which are fabricated to naturally insulate rooms and block out sunlight! Alternatively, neutral-colored curtains with white plastic backings can also cut back on heat gain inside a room by up to 33 percent. I have blackout curtains in pretty much every room of our home. It’s a simple change that can make a big impact!
3. Plant a tree or two or three!
Did you know that the strategic placement of trees, shrubbery and bushes can reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs? A 2014 Good Housekeeping article recommends planting deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home. In this way, you’ll benefit from the shading of their leaves during the summer, while the bare trees (after the leaves have falled in autumn) will allow the sun’s rays to warm the house during winter.
4. Take advantage of nighttime air!
During the summer, temperatures may skyrocket during the day but often reach much lower levels after dark. For example, in the Phoenix metropolitan area, daytime and nighttime temps can differ by over 20 degrees! Use this difference to your advantage by cracking open the windows before settling into bed each night. It results in your air conditioner having to work less during the day, keeping more money in your pocket! Win-win!
I hope these tips have inspired you to make simple changes in your home to improve your HVAC system’s efficiency. Whether you’ve upgraded your roof for better energy usage or you’re contemplating installing solar panels, a few smart hacks can help you be more green, while also saving some green!
Now, I’d love to hear from you: Have you worked on improving your home’s energy efficiency? Do you have blackout curtains installed? What is the exterior color of your home?