Your home’s decor doesn’t just speak to your sense of style - it can be a statement of your home's energy efficiency as well. Decor elements like lighting, window treatments and even wall color can affect a home’s overall energy efficiency. Making decorating decisions with energy efficiency in mind can help reduce your home’s energy consumption and lower your electricity, heating and water bills!
Here are some energy-efficient home decorating tips to help your home stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter:
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), lighting accounts for 9% of the typical American home’s annual energy consumption. While lighting is an essential part of any home, it's still possible to use less energy while properly illuminating your home. Here are some ways you can reduce your home's energy usage with lighting:
Cool Off (Or Heat Up) With Color
You probably learned the basic relationship between color and temperature in school — blue on a faucet knob indicates cold water and red is for hot. Color in home decor also affects room temperature as well as brightness. Wall colors, for example, affect how much sunlight and heat a room takes in. Plus, color affects perception of temperature. According to Color Matters, people think rooms painted in cool colors like blue or green are 6 to 10 degrees cooler than the actual temperature, and those painted in hot colors like red are perceived as 6 to 10 degrees warmer.
You can use color to influence light and temperature:
Energize With Accessories
Accessories do more than personalize a space or underscore a design theme. They can also enhance your home's energy efficiency by making you feel comfortable without the need to adjust the thermostat. To accessorize your way to energy efficiency, try these tricks:
Indoor decor isn’t the only cosmetic home feature that affects energy efficiency. Your landscaping can help as well! The U.S. Department of Energy says landscaping can help reduce heating and cooling costs, and that you should consider your climate zone when landscaping for energy efficiency. The department offers a guide to landscaping for different climate zones.
For example, where in your yard you plant a tree can affect your home's energy efficiency. If your home gets a lot of sun on the southern side, plant trees on that side of the house. In the summer, their leafy branches will shield the house from the sun. In the winter, when the trees lose their leaves, you’ll get more sunlight on that side of the house.