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Making your home energy efficient is a great way to marry being environmental and being economical. Whether you make large or small changes, every little help can result in huge reductions in your water and electricity bills.
The first step to making your home energy efficient is to make sure it is well insulated. Air conditioning accounts for a significant amount in the electricity bill. Ensuring your home is well insulated means cooling is not going to waste. Look for gaps or cracks in external door frames and windows to make sure that cool air is not escaping.
Replace aluminum window frames with vinyl which is much better at keeping heat out and cool air in. It is also a good idea to tint windows to reduce the amount of direct sunlight that heats your home. If you do not like the look of tinted windows, only tint the windows at the back of your home or the ones that receive the most direct sunlight. If you have the budget, get double or even triple-paned argon gas-filled windows. The layer of argon gas is an incredibly effective and efficient insulator.
Replace old and inefficient electrical devices with energy efficient models as the latter uses 50 per cent less standby power. Older and large items such as refrigerators, washing machines, water heaters and air conditioners use more electricity than newer ones and could be costing you more money.
Be mindful of how you use electrical items. Read their instruction manuals to find out the most efficient way to use them, e.g., only do full loads of laundry or use the dishwasher when it is full. If appliances like refrigerators have an energy-saving mode, be sure to use that feature whenever the appliance is running.
The UAE has plenty of sun all year round. If it is within your budget, why not consider installing solar panels to cut down on electricity costs. And if you live in a villa with enough outdoor space, you may include planting trees to cool your surroundings even in the height of summer, reducing your airconditioning load in the process.
Lastly, while some homeowners do not find the need of it, it is still advisable to hire a maintenance firm to take care of your home’s preventive maintenance needs with regard to cooling, heating, electrical and other related systems.
• Argon gas-filled windows are more energy efficient than conventional windows
• Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors to ensure home insulation
• Replace old and inefficient electrical appliances with energy efficient models
Source: Special to Properties