4 home upgrades that are good for the environment

(BPT) – Consumers today are more mindful about the environmental impact of everything they do, from driving and traveling to energy usage in their homes. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps homeowners can take to save energy and help the environment.

1. Boost your insulation

You may already know what areas of your home are poorly insulated, simply by how you feel when it’s cold or hot outside. You can have a professional home energy audit conducted to help pinpoint areas that need improvement. Many energy companies provide an audit free of charge.

Start with the attic: If your attic is insufficiently insulated, you could be losing a lot of heat over the winter, which means your home is wasting energy – and money. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that boosting attic insulation can save 10-50 percent on heating costs.

2. Upgrade your heating and cooling system

Heating and cooling your home uses the most energy, so investing in Energy Star certified HVAC products can make a big difference when it comes to cutting energy costs and your home’s impact on the environment.

For a new HVAC system in a variety of styles to fit any décor that can be easily installed by a contractor, you might consider wall-mounted duct-free systems from a trusted brand like LG. They offer a variety of ultra-quiet “Art Cool” options (the sleek Mirror, stylish Premier and unique Gallery, which looks like a picture frame and allows you to display your own artwork). These systems are smart-enabled, allowing homeowners to adjust the temperature from their LG ThinQ app for Android and iOS users, or with simple commands via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

The most eco-conscious consumers will want to look for “Energy Star Most Efficient” HVAC solutions. For example, the Art Cool Mirror earned the 2019 designation and also features advanced “Reliable to Extreme Degrees” LGRED, heating technology that delivers 100 percent heating capacity down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and continuous heating down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep you warm and comfortable all winter long with remarkable energy efficiency.

3. Replace doors and windows

You may be losing a lot of heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer through your doors and windows, especially if they’re older. The latest energy-efficient models of windows and doors not only reduce leaks around the frames, but they’re made from materials that enhance insulation.

Doors: According to EnergyStar.gov, energy-efficient doors not only fit better and have improved weather stripping to reduce air leakage, but also use improved core materials for superior insulation. Where glass is used, they reduce heat flow via double- or triple-paned insulating glass.

Windows: Energy Star qualified windows use superior framing materials, including multiple panes of glass, with air- or gas-filled space between for additional insulation. They’re made from Low-E (low emissivity) glass, with special coatings to reflect infrared light. Warm edge spacers keep the glass panes the correct distance apart reducing heat transfer through the window.

4. Go solar

While most people are aware that solar power harnesses the sun’s energy to create electricity, many don’t know how easy and cost-effective it is to go solar.

The newest technology behind solar energy has made it increasingly accessible and appealing for homeowners. For example, new energy solutions such as LG’s “NeON R ACe” are high-efficiency solar panels that incorporate a built-in micro-inverter (that converts DC electricity to AC) instead of a separate traditional inverter. Recessed into the frame of the solar module, the micro-inverter simplifies the installation process and allows more flexibility to create a solar array that looks attractive on your roof. When going solar, it’s important to seek out a brand you trust, one like LG that offers solar panels covered by a 25-year limited product, part and performance warranty.

Choosing just one area to upgrade will save energy, reducing your home’s carbon footprint. You’ll also feel more comfortable throughout the year, as you better regulate the temperature of your home.