How to Increase Your Home's Energy Efficiency

Nowadays, record heat has resulted in higher energy bills throughout much of the U.S. If you are having trouble coping with the increased cost of cooling your house, consider the following strategies that can make your home much more energy efficient.

Select the correct color of paint

When they choose a paint color for the outsides of their houses, homeowners tend to base their decisions on aesthetic beauty only. Although this is fine for people who live in mild climates, it isn’t a smart strategy for those who own homes in cold or hot regions of the United States.

Most homeowners are shocked to learn that paint can have a significant effect on home efficiency. For instance, a house painted with a deep green will usually use a lot more energy during the hotter months of the year than will one painted a light yellow or tan. This is because darker colors absorb sunlight, while lighter colors reflect them. As the dark green home absorbs UV rays, the inside of the house warms, causing the air conditioning to run constantly. Conversely, since the light-colored house reflects UV rays, its interior remains cooler. This same concept works during the colder months of the year; however, in this instance, homeowners benefit when they have a dark-colored home, which helps keep heating costs down.

Clearly, it doesn’t make much sense to paint your home a new color at the beginning of every season. Usually, you should choose a paint color based on the climate you live in. For instance, if your home is located in the colder, north part of the U.S., deep, dark paint colors are your best option. Conversely, if your home is located in Georgia, Arizona, Texas or another hotter state, a light color of paint will make more sense.

Cover your glass doors and windows

When the sun enters your home through uncovered windows and doors, the inside of your house will get hot. Obviously, this can lead to higher energy costs during June, July and August. To keep the sun out, it’s important to keep your glass doors covered by thick, dark curtains. Although window shades and curtains can help prevent direct sunlight from shining through windows, they aren’t comparable to window solar screens, which are composed of reflective woven coated polyester yarn. These privacy shades have the power to lower utility bills by more than 20 to 30 percent in homes that have a lot of windows.