Energy Efficiency

By - Tyler
02.24.22 03:18 PM

By Tyler Meder

Efficiency, doing more with less, is a key pursuit of many different fields. From the automobile industry making fuel efficient cars to get us further down the road with less gas in the tank, to the plumbing and appliance industry introducing water efficient fixtures like sinks and showers that use less water per use, but still offer the same performance as old models. The idea is to eliminate waste, to take what we have and make the most out of it, and to save the consumer money overall!


One type of efficiency that is important not only to us as a solar company, but important to every homeowner who is trying to save some money, is Energy Efficiency. Energy Efficiency in simple terms is using less energy to power the same thing and trying to eliminate energy waste. For example, lets say you use 200 KWh of electricity to run your AC for a month in the middle of summer. With energy efficient technologies and other energy saving tactics like weather stripping and better insulation in your home that number could drop to 150 KWh or maybe even 100 KWh. These energy saving tactics and energy efficient technology save energy, then, in turn you save money.

There are many benefits to energy efficiency though, even beyond the savings you'll see in your electric bill. Being energy efficient also "reduces greenhouse gas emissions, reduces demand for energy imports, and lowers the costs of electricity on a household and economy-wide level" -EESI.


Here are 5 things that you can do to make your home more energy efficient!

#1: Switch your Light Bulbs to LEDs

One huge step you can take in your home to make it more energy efficient is upgrading your light bulbs! By switching to LEDs from Incandescent bulbs, and CFL bulbs you save on quite a lot of energy waste and get the benefit of longer lasting light bulbs! Incandescent bulbs use 90% of their energy on producing heat which is why they get so warm, but also why they are not energy efficient, same goes for CFL bulbs but to a lesser extent (75%-80%). Because of this energy waste as well as a few other reasons, the lifespan of these batteries is very short when compared to LEDs, and therefore they are not only not energy efficient, but not cost efficient as they require more replacements. Switching to LED light bulbs not only saves you money on your electric bill as they use less energy to operate, but they save you money on light bulbs since you need to replace them less!

On top of that, LEDs have a few additional benefits not necessarily related to energy efficiency but they should be discussed nonetheless. They are sturdier than Incandescent and CFL bulbs because they are for the most part not made of glass but rather epoxy so they are less likely to break. Compared to CFLs and Incandescent bulbs as well LED lighting comes in a variety of colors so if you want you can light your house in infinitely more ways than you can with traditional bulbs.

#2: Install and Program a Smart Thermostat

A popular technology that has appeared recently and become a staple in "Smart" houses is a Smart Thermostat. A common brand of this technology you may have heard of is a Nest Thermostat. What these thermostats do is allow you to program the temperature of your house in ways much more detailed and specific than traditional thermostats. You can schedule times when people are home and when no one is home so the thermostat can conserve energy and turn off any AC or Heat when no one is home and turn it on just before they get back to make sure your home is always at a comfortable temperature.

On top of that a lot of brands of Smart Thermostats are actually "Smart" and learn as you use them more. They are equipped with sensors to better judge when people are home or not, it takes this data and uses it to optimize a schedule of heating and cooling to not only make your home always comfortable but also energy efficient! Another benefit of this technology is that most of them allow you to control the temperature of your home through your phone or tablet. An app lets you adjust your setting from anywhere. This is beneficial in the case of a drastic temperature change or in a situation where you forgot to turn off your heat after leaving home.

#3: Insulate your Attic

While switching out your light bulbs and thermostat is a relatively small project you can most of the time do on your own this next energy saving technique is definitely a larger project that might require some extra help! Insulating your attic is one of the most important things you can do if you are looking to save money and make your home energy efficient. An attic with poor or no insulation in the long run costs you money! All your heated air from your heat in the winter and all your cooled air from your AC in the summer leaks out from the large un-insulated area that is your attic. Getting your attic insulated causes a cut down on drafts and outside air making it's way in. This means you run your heat or AC less to make up for the loss from the attic, which in turn saves you energy, which in turn saves you money! Overall, insulating your attic makes your home more comfortable overall as it regulates your whole home's temperature.


Beyond the money saving and energy saving benefits of insulating your attic there are a lot of other great benefits that you and your home gain from this process! Such as giving your home better air quality, deterring pests, preventing and eliminating ice dams, preventing structural damage to your attic from moisture, preventing frozen pipes and prolonging the life of your roof!

#4: Install Weather Stripping

One smaller energy efficient project a lot of people neglect is Weather Stripping. Weather Stripping is the process of finding gaps between your home and the outside and sealing them up! For example, the gaps on all sides of your doors, the tracks of a sliding door or window, or around your windows. The solution to these gaps is taking various types of materials like foam, vinyl, felt and tension seals to close off as much of that gap as possible to make sure that air from the outside doesn't leak in and air from the inside doesn't leak out, at least as much as humanely possible!

This is basically a second lair of insulation but for around your house in places you can see instead of tucked away in your foundation and attic. This is something that you can do for yourself as well if you notice a draft, or a cold spot you can reapply, if the original has worn down or apply it for the first time if this is something new for you. 

There are various resources online like the website for the US Department of Energy where you can learn about all the various types of weather stripping and you can find out which is right for you and your home!

#5: Go Solar!

While all of these options above are great ways to reduce your energy usage and eliminate energy waste to some degree, none of them reduce your energy usage to zero. What this means is no matter what, your house is still consuming energy from the grid. The energy that flows through the grid is largely produced by fossil fuels which is not ideal for anyone who is at all worried about sustainability or conservation. There is one energy saving and energy efficient technology that could help with this problem though! You could always go solar!


Going solar means that your house doesn't have to pull in as much power from the grid because the panels on your roof are providing some of that power that your house is using. Here at Modern Mill Solar we do our best to make a system suited for your energy needs so hopefully we can get your solar energy production to match your energy usage so you no longer have to pull from the grid. In the best case scenarios your panels may actually overproduce and send some of that power back into the grid! 

When you decide to go solar with us, we have an energy specialist go out  to your house and design your personalized solar plan. Taking into account the space we have available on your roof, the amount of power you use on average as well as a few other factors, they design a system fit for your needs. A lot of times your solar system might not be able to produce as much as you consume, some using the above tips in combination with installing a solar system is your best bet to be energy efficient and to some degree energy independence.

So what are you waiting for! Click the button below to fill out our contact form, and get started today!