Is it possible to save home energy bills by decorating? Yes, in fact, there are a number of ways that some smart decorating can reduce your monthly heating and cooling bills. Of course, there are major construction designs that can be implemented to gain optimum energy efficiency when building a home.
What if your home is already built? Here are a few suggestions that are based on interior decorating. Some may require more financial investment while others have very little impact on your wallet. This list isn’t all inclusive, but here are some ideas that may provide cost savings and help out the planet too. Starting with the most expensive….
- Put more windows on the south side of your home or enlarge the ones that you already have. It’s all about bringing the best light of the day in and this will definitely help you to retain interior heat. By selecting energy savings windows, this investment reaps a two-fold benefit.
- Install radiant floor heating. This is a simple concept that has great benefits. Hot water is pumped through a series of tubes below the floor’s surface and the subsequent heating makes you feel very warm and cozy. Radiant heating can be installed beneath many types of flooring and the simple design makes for a not-too-pricey improvement.
- Convert that energy sucking water heater to an on-demand unit. There are several brands now on the market and they are compatible with either electric or gas and the existing plumbing . These produce instant hot water anywhere in your home unless your home is quite large. In that case, you would need to add some type of pump to move the heated water from the unit to the far end of your home “on-demand.”
- Certain floorings are better energy savers than others. Concrete is an excellent choice for interior flooring, with or without radiant heat. Concrete’s ability to absorb and retain heat makes it a great pick for energy savings. Choose acid washed, stamped or patterned concrete for design options that can dramatically update your home’s appearance.
- Ceiling fans have been around for a long time now but their benefits just keep giving us cooler air in the summer and warmer air in the winter. By reversing the direction of the blades with the seasons, you gain maximum benefit from these inexpensive fixtures.
- Use area rugs on hard surface flooring to prevent the loss of heat through the floor. Bright colored rugs on concrete floors are dramatic and relatively inexpensive touches.
- Vinyl wallpaper and thermal paint are now on the market, but their true value should be researched carefully. Manufacturers of thermal or insulating paint have made some big claims that need to be verified because these products are expensive. They are mentioned here, not as an endorsement, but because you will see them advertised.
- Paint color choices, however, can help to minimize heating costs. Remember to use lighter colors on the ceilings as they retain heat through reflection. Warmer wall colors absorb heat as well.
- Don’t leave your fireplace surround naked. Use brick, ceramic tiles or other hard surface materials to trap fire heat. As the room cools down the heat from these products is released into the room.
- Add a small electric heater to a room or a heat lamp in the bathroom. These quick and minimal investments warm the room you are in quickly and efficiently. Often, this will be all the heat you need while using these spaces.
- Finally, cover the inside of external walls with hanging fabrics, tapestries or rugs. Place bookcases on these walls as well. While these decorating tips may be contrary to good feng shui, they provide an added insulation barrier between the outside and the inside of your home.
While decorating can be an enjoyable hobby for many, you must remember not to go spend your savings on more décor, or else this money can’t really be termed a savings!