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5 Home Features to Superpower Your Energy Conservation

When you hear the phrase “energy conservation,” you probably think about saving money. And there’s no doubt that investments in solar, for example, drastically reduce utility bills. But energy conservation is also one of the most effective ways to be environmentally responsible. Most of the pollution damaging our ecosystems is the result of large corporations and their outdated manufacturing practices. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore our own impact on the environment.

With today’s technology, we can reduce our overall energy usage. And the energy that we do use should come from renewable sources. This comes down to two factors: leveraging technology to work around your habits and adding new capabilities to your home. Take a look at these features that not only aid in energy conservation but also look great in the context of luxury design.

Reflective Window Film

Luxury homes are often filled with natural light. That means there are plenty of windows to let that light in; some houses even have floor-to-ceiling windows. While most construction firms will use high-quality, insulated windows, you can add even more efficiency with window film. These thin adhesive sheets block the UV light spectrum from entering your home. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s heat gets reflected away from your window, cutting air conditioning costs by 30 to 40 percent. Older window film often had a noticeable tint to it, but modern technology provides a much more subtle look and blends right into your home’s design while contributing to energy conservation.

Smart Window Blinds

There’s a smart version of nearly everything these days, and window blinds are no exception. These motorized and internet-connected versions let you set when to open and close them, according to your schedule and preferences. You can have them open as you wake up, blocking the sun in the hours before, and therefore reducing the need to cool your home in the summer. 

The same goes for when you leave the house. Or in the winter, you can set the blinds to open everywhere other than the bedrooms, warming up the house before you wake up. Smart blinds are compatible with most smart home setups and voice controls, so it’s easy to make quick adjustments, even if you’re not home. It’s convenient and helps with energy conservation, all in one package.

Green Roofs and Vertical Gardens

A green roof – basically a layer of grass – turns a blank (possibly, literally) slate into a patch of biodiversity that has a variety of benefits. One is that the natural waterproofing and resiliency will mean you have to replace the roof less frequently. Another is that the grass absorbs a lot of heat, serving as a natural insulator and air filter. A cooler roof also increases the efficiency of nearby solar panels. As an added benefit, green roofs even reduce ambient noise.

Vertical gardens are a similar concept, with grass and other plants applied to an exterior wall. Many of the same benefits apply, including cleaner air, better insulation, and easier maintenance. Vertical gardens are less susceptible to erosion compared to standard gardens, too, so your plants are safer from the rain.

Efficient Swimming Pools

It’s no surprise that heated swimming pools are a big drain on resources. You’re heating thousands of gallons of water! If you use a gas heater, consider switching to an electric heat pump or solar heater, which doesn’t use fossil fuels. While these can have higher up-front costs, they pay off in the long run due to lower operating costs. The only downside is that they don’t perform as well as traditional heaters in very cold temperatures, so swimming laps in the winter may not be a possibility.

Solar lighting can illuminate your pool area after the sun goes down. Pool lights often use a lot of energy, so offsetting that with solar power can go a long way toward energy conservation. Meanwhile, you can invest in an automatic pool cover that will close with the push of a button. Open it up in the morning to help heat the pool with the sun’s rays instead of a heater, and close it when the pool isn’t in use. You can also set up timers to limit your filtration system’s usage and get a robotic pool cleaner to maximize your efficiency.

Efficient Landscaping

Keep the heat off your patio or porch with pergolas or trellises combined with climbing plants. The plants will block the heat from the sun while also adding an exciting visual feature to your backyard. Meanwhile, you can swap out your traditional lighting with solar outdoor lighting for nighttime.

Climbing plants also help with increasing biodiversity and pollination – a big win for your local environment. If your air conditioning unit is placed within direct sunlight, consider adding some trellises or shrubs to shade it and increase its efficiency.

Irrigation is one of the most resource-intensive household tasks, to the point where several towns have introduced a “once per week” mandate for sprinkler schedules. A rainwater collection system can be an easy step toward energy conservation. Rainwater is better for your lawn and plants since it’s not chlorinated, and of course, it’s free.

Interested in energy conservation in your luxury home remodel? Check out these examples for inspiration and set up a consultation with JM Construction to discover how these options can work for you.

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