Innovative Home Trends That Can Increase Energy Efficiency This Winter

Posted On 13 Dec 2023
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By: Evelyn Long

How do homeowners counteract the impacts of climate change on their homes while participating in sustainable energy initiatives? Several technologies and trends help people reduce costs while decreasing overall gas emissions and lessening the demand for nonrenewable power. Here’s how homeowners can utilize smart appliances, solar power and more to increase their energy efficiency this winter.

Smart Appliances

More people are moving toward installing smart appliances. These products connect to smartphones and Wi-Fi and have helpful energy efficiency features, such as:

  • Insight into energy use
  • Customized settings
  • Timers and remote controls for lights, thermostats and washing appliances
  • Automatic sensors that shut off devices to save energy
  • Connecting machines for energy-efficient use, such as washers and dryers, to determine the best cycles

Upgraded Windows

Low-emissivity windows filter out long wavelengths and allow short wavelengths to pass through, which means a house can retain more heat on colder days. Heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25%-30% of residential heating and cooling energy use, so upgrading them is an excellent way to decrease bills and keep rooms warm in winter.

Homeowners can add Low-E coating to provide additional insulation. They also benefit from regular window maintenance, which includes sealing cracks and installing weatherstrips to prevent freezing air from seeping in.

Smart Lights

Smart lights take the benefits of LED energy-saving lights to an advanced level. LED bulbs last 25 to 50 times longer than incandescents, reducing power use significantly. With smart technology like geofencing, homeowners can ensure lights are on and working only when needed.

Fireplace Upgrades

Homeowners who prefer fireplaces over HVAC systems and thermostats can upgrade them to increase energy efficiency. They can install fireplace doors, which minimize heat loss by allowing warmth to radiate more evenly in a room and keep the temperature consistent.

It’s also worthwhile to upgrade the chimney damper. It reduces the amount of cold air that enters the fireplace, which increases heat retention and lowers energy use. This makes a difference, considering heat loss up chimney flues accounts for 11% of total home heating costs.

Continuous Insulation

Continuous insulation has several benefits, including increasing energy efficiency across the board. It reduces air movement through walls, reducing heat loss and energy costs. It also protects walls from water condensation and moisture intrusion, preventing potential damage to a home’s structural elements from snow and ice. Plus, a home is less likely to have issues like frozen pipes.

Renewable Energy

The world could soon see solar power become even more affordable and widely available. In June 2023, researchers proved that adding a layer of perovskite to silicon-based cells can increase solar panels’ maximum conversion rate from 29% to 33.7% in some cases.

Solar power has long been touted as an energy-efficient alternative to fossil fuels and a significant player in reducing power costs. It’s also a reliable source during outages from frigid weather. Homeowners can invest in battery storage to keep it for emergency use or as a low-cost option to reduce electricity bills.

Smart Thermostat

Another way to streamline energy efficiency in a home is to install a smart thermostat. They can save about 8% on utility bills by reducing power use. Motion sensors and geofencing enable the thermostat to change a house’s temperature based on people’s schedules and preferences. It’s also helpful on days people forget to turn off the thermostat or reduce the temperature before going out.

Smart Energy Meter

Homeowners who get detailed insight into their appliances’ energy use can identify inefficiency patterns and determine ways to reduce consumption. Smart meters also provide utility companies with real-time data, allowing them to manage resources more efficiently to reduce overall power usage.

Fight Climate Change and Increase Energy Efficiency This Winter

Combining smart appliances and renewable power is a surefire way to increase energy efficiency and keep homes warm this winter. Homeowners who take action will reap the rewards by saving money and reducing their carbon footprints, doing their part to combat climate change and help the environment.


Evelyn Long is a writer and editor focused on construction and sustainability. Her work can be found on Renovated, a web resource for better building and design.

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