5 Ways to Make Your Home More Comfortable
Outside of keeping your family safe, the primary function of a home is to feel, well, homey. After all, a house isn’t a home unless it’s a place that makes you and your family feel comfortable. In this post, we’ll look at five home improvement projects that can save you money and make your home as pleasant and cozy as possible.
Upgrade Your Lighting
Replacing your old incandescent lights with new, high efficiency bulbs is an easy, inexpensive way to save money on energy costs and make your home cozier and more inviting.
One of the biggest misconceptions about high efficiency bulbs is that they give off a chilly white light that lacks the warmth of traditional incandescent bulbs. With modern LED technology, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only can new LED bulbs match the genial ambience of incandescents, some now even offer the flexibility of changing color and light temperature to match your mood.
Install Ceiling Fans
While we tend to think of ceiling fans as appliances to help keep us cool, their primary function is to circulate air in homes. That means that if they’re used properly, they can help make your heating system more efficient in the winter and provide a nice cooling breeze in the summer all while keeping the air in your home fresh.
During the summer time, your ceiling fan will push hot air to the ceiling and push colder air down, generating a refreshing breeze that can make muggy summer days and nights more bearable. In colder months, reverse the blades on your fan and run it slowly to push hot air back down from the ceiling. Not only can it help lower your energy bills, it’ll also help distribute heat more evenly for greater comfort.
Improve Your Home’s Insulation
Older homes are often insulated with fiberglass, rock wool, mineral wool or vermiculite. Compared with modern insulating materials like dense pack cellulose or spray foam, they’re often not very efficient and in many cases they can be hazardous to your health. Old fiberglass, rock and mineral wool can break down and become microscopic irritants that can aggravate your skin and throat. Even worse, vermiculite often contains asbestos fibers and needs to be abated by a professional.
Modern insulation like spray foam and dense packed cellulose offers significantly higher R values and are safer for you and your family. Good insulation will help your home retain heat during the winter and keep it cool during the summer. It can also improve your indoor air quality by creating a moisture barrier that will keep your home dry and mold free. That means that new insulation can save you money and help you and your family live more comfortably.
Install New Windows
Older windows, especially single pane windows, were built only to let in light while keeping weather out of the home.That might have been fine fifty years ago when the cost of heating homes was extremely low, but today new windows need to help homes retain heat.
While new double or even triple pane windows will certainly help stop drafts and help seal up your home, there are plenty of other reasons to upgrade your windows. New windows don’t just help your heating situation, they also can make your home brighter, safer and easier to clean.
Many new windows come with a low-e (or low emissivity) filter that keeps UV rays from the sun out of your home without affecting the light coming in. Those UV rays can burn your skin, fade your carpets and wall art, and damage your furniture. Think of it as applying sunscreen for your house!
Unlike older windows, most new ones come with tilt-in sashes that make cleaning them on the inside and outside a breeze. That will improve the quality of natural light coming into your home and make it easier to cut back on dust, pollen and other allergens that can accumulate on windows.
Get Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Geothermal is a super efficient way to heat and cool your home using the ambient temperature of the ground under your lawn. Not only is it good for the environment, but it can also save you thousands on home heating and cooling by eliminating your heating bills for propane, fuel oil or natural gas.
A conventional HVAC system might warm your house quickly in the wintertime, but the high temperature from burning oil, gas and propane will sap the moisture from the air in your home. That super low humidity can result in dry skin, eyes, nose and throat, and can even damage your wood furniture and wall paint. That’s not an issue with a geothermal heating and cooling system because there’s no combustion to dry the air out. Instead you get a smooth, even heat throughout your home.
Not only will geothermal heat your home without burning fossil fuels, it also provides super efficient air conditioning. That means you can say goodbye to window AC units, and outdoor condensers making noise and taking up space in your yard while cooling your home with just a fraction of the electricity.
Is geothermal a good option for your home? Click the button to find out.
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