Whether you have just become a first-time homeowner, are building a new house, or have lived in your home for decades, there are so many simple solutions to create a more energy-efficient home. With the help of energy experts at Southface Institute, Drawdown Georgia has created a toolkit to help you take the first steps in making more sustainable decisions when it comes to your home. Even if you can only make one small change, it makes a difference. The fact that you clicked on this article is already making a difference.
Climate Change and Home Energy Efficiency
It can be easy to overlook exactly how much energy your home requires on a day-to-day basis. All of the lights, electronics, air conditioning, heat, and appliances in our homes run on electricity that is still mainly produced by burning fossil fuels, which produce greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change and air pollution.
The good news is that reducing the carbon footprint of your home is easier than you think, which is great news for our climate--and your wallet, too.
Making Your Georgia Home More Energy-Efficient
The toolkit provides simple resources and information to guide you through this process. One great place to begin is with a home energy audit. The auditor can reveal areas in your home where energy efficiency could be improved and what the best options are for upgrades in these areas.
Some inefficiencies can be hard to see without a trained eye, such as the condition and effectiveness of your home’s insulation. Switching to a more energy-efficient AC unit is great, but not if half of the cool air is escaping from cracks in your window frames!
The How to Make Your Georgia Home Energy Efficient toolkit answers questions such as:
What Kind of Light Bulbs Should I Buy, and Do They Really Matter?
It does matter, and lightbulbs are one of the easiest home energy efficiency upgrades you can make. LED light dbulbs are around six times more efficient than regular bulbs, which means far less energy is needed to light your home.
How Do I Know What Appliances to Look for?
To find the best energy-efficient appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR rating of the appliance. These appliances, such as ovens, stoves, refrigerators, water heaters, and washing machines, use less energy to operate, reducing your carbon footprint.
Does Making My Home More Energy-Efficient Cost More Money?
While it may cost a little more upfront to make this energy-efficient transition, in the long run, it will save you a significant amount of money on your electric and water bills. The toolkit also has information on financing available for energy-efficiency home improvements.
What Does My Roof Have to Do With This?
On a hot day, you may decide to wear light-colored clothing because it will absorb less heat than dark colors. The same idea applies to your roof. Light-colored roofs reflect sunlight and heat rather than absorbing that heat into the atmosphere.
Are There State Or Federal Tax Credits Or Incentives That I Can Take Advantage Of In Georgia?
It depends, but the toolkit provides resources for you to determine if you are eligible for tax credits or incentives on energy-efficient appliances, energy-efficient HVAC systems, and water heaters.
Whatever change you may decide to make in your home is a step in the right direction, and remember that every step counts. The toolkit addresses other common questions and misperceptions you may have about energy-efficient homes as well as point you to helpful resources on the topic.
Join Drawdown Georgia and the growing number of Georgians working to reduce carbon emissions across our state - access the "How to Make Your Georgia Home Energy Efficient" toolkit now.