Electrify Your Home: Quick Guide For A More Sustainable Home


Are you considering electrifying your home? After reading our guide, you’ll understand the benefits of home electrification, how to improve energy efficiency, and various ways to electrify your home.

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Electrifying your home isn’t just a technological upgrade; it’s a commitment to a more sustainable and responsible way of living. From tangible financial savings to contributing to a global environmental cause, the benefits of electrification ripple across various facets of your life. 

This holistic approach involves transitioning key aspects of your home to electricity and harnessing cleaner energy sources and technologies. As homeowners who’ve completely electrified our own home, we’ve pulled together a guide on everything you need to know on electrifying your home.

Reasons Why To Electrify Your Home

Firstly, you might be asking yourself why should we electrify a home. The reason we wanted to is because It’s a commitment to a more sustainable and energy-conscious lifestyle, where every small change contributes to a larger positive impact on the planet. Your specific reason why you want to electrify your home may be different, but it’s impactful either way. 

What Does It Mean To Electrify A Home?

Electrifying your home simply means replacing current products in your home fueled by natural gas, propane, gasoline, or fuel oil with electric systems and appliances. 

Benefits of Home Electrification

So why is home electrification beneficial? Let’s dive into the multifaceted benefits of electrifying your home, ranging from energy savings to environmental stewardship.

Save Energy

At the heart of home electrification is the pursuit of energy efficiency. By shifting to electric appliances, heating systems, and lighting, you can optimize your energy consumption. Electric technologies often boast higher efficiency ratings, ensuring that the energy they consume is converted into useful work with minimal waste. This translates to lower energy bills, providing both immediate and long-term financial benefits. Moreover, as the global push for renewable energy gains momentum, electrifying your home aligns with the broader goal of reducing energy demand and mitigating the environmental impact associated with traditional energy sources.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

One of the most compelling reasons for us to electrify our home is its positive impact on the environment. Traditional energy sources, such as natural gas and oil, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Electrifying your home, especially through the use of renewable energy like solar or wind power, significantly reduces your carbon footprint. By transitioning away from fossil fuels, you play a crucial role in decreasing harmful emissions, fostering a cleaner atmosphere, and contributing to the global effort to combat climate change. It’s a tangible and meaningful way to be an eco-conscious homeowner.

Our rooftop solar panel system we DIY installed

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Electrifying your home also extends its positive influence indoors. Unlike combustion-based heating systems, electric heating produces no direct emissions, ensuring cleaner air within your living spaces. This is particularly relevant for homes with traditional heating methods that rely on burning fossil fuels, which can release pollutants and compromise indoor air quality. Electrification promotes a healthier home environment, reducing the risk of respiratory issues and allergies associated with poor air quality.

I can’t even begin to express the peace of mind we have now that we have eliminated Natural Gas (Methane) from our home. We no longer have to worry about the possibility of a gas leak if the pilot flame goes out, or the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning if something happens to the exhaust vent.

Increase Home Value

Beyond the immediate benefits, electrifying your home can enhance its overall value. With a growing emphasis on sustainability in the real estate market, prospective homebuyers increasingly seek energy-efficient and eco-friendly properties. Homes equipped with electric appliances, solar panels, and other green technologies are often perceived as more attractive and forward-thinking. As a result, investing in electrification can contribute to a higher resale value and a competitive edge in the housing market.

Find Energy Loss With a Home Energy Audit

In the pursuit of a more energy-efficient and sustainable home, conducting a comprehensive energy audit is a crucial first step. A home energy audit serves as a diagnostic tool, helping you identify areas where energy is being lost, and inefficiencies are lurking. Among the key aspects of this audit is the critical examination of your current energy consumption. Let’s explore why assessing your energy consumption is the cornerstone of a successful home energy audit.

Assessing Your Energy Consumption

Understanding where your energy is going is fundamental to making informed decisions about how to enhance efficiency. Begin by reviewing your utility bills over the past year or two. Track patterns, peak usage times, and any unusual spikes in consumption. This historical data provides valuable insights into your energy habits, helping you identify trends and potential areas for improvement.

If you want to get truly analytical, consider investing in energy monitoring devices to get real-time data on the electricity consumption of individual appliances and systems. Smart plugs and meters can be attached to various devices, providing a detailed breakdown of their energy usage. This granular information can help you understand which appliances are the biggest energy hogs and also assist in creating a prioritized action plan for improvements.

A free energy audit from our utility company when we first bought our home (before electrification).
1. Inspect Your Home’s Interior

Beyond the bills, an inspection done by you on your home is helpful. Walk through your home with a discerning eye, examining each room for energy consumption sources. 

  • Are there old appliances that draw more power than their modern counterparts? 
  • Are there drafty windows and doors that allow conditioned air to escape?

Identifying these visual cues allows you to pinpoint specific areas that may need attention.

2. Assess Your Heating & Cooling System

A crucial aspect of assessing energy consumption is understanding the impact of heating and cooling systems. Evaluate the efficiency of your HVAC system, inspecting filters, ducts, and overall performance. Inefficient heating and cooling can account for a significant portion of energy loss in a home. Upgrading to modern, energy-efficient systems or optimizing your existing system can lead to substantial energy savings.

3. Inspect Your Home’s Exterior

The assessment phase of a home energy audit extends beyond the interior. Examine your home’s exterior, looking for potential sources of energy loss. Inspect the insulation in your attic and walls, ensuring it meets recommended standards. Check for gaps, cracks, and leaks that may compromise your home’s thermal envelope. An airtight home is more energy-efficient, as it reduces the workload on heating and cooling systems.

You can get professional home energy audits, but it will cost you a little to have professional services. We found doing a DIY home inspection enough for us to make decisions on home electrification and identify energy loss areas.

This assessment sets the stage for targeted improvements, allowing you to address specific areas where energy is being wasted. With a comprehensive understanding of your energy habits, you can embark on a journey towards a more energy-efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally conscious home. 

Ways To Electrify Your Home

Now that you have assessed what areas of your home need improvement, here are ways to electrify your house and take action towards a more sustainable home.

Upgrade To Electric or Heat Pump Appliances

One of the key steps is to upgrade to electric or heat pump appliances. When it comes to indoor appliances, choosing electric alternatives, such as induction cooktops, electric water heaters, and heat pump systems, contributes to a more energy-efficient home These modern appliances not only bring a touch of innovation to your home but also significantly contribute to reducing your carbon footprint.. 

Switching to electric appliances is a smart move towards a cleaner, greener future. Electric stovetops, ovens, and heating systems, for instance, eliminate the reliance on fossil fuels, reducing the emission of harmful greenhouse gases. The transition to electric appliances also aligns with the growing trend of renewable energy integration into our homes. With the rise of solar and wind power, utilizing electric appliances ensures that your household activities are powered by clean energy sources.

On a parallel note, Heat Pump technology has been gaining traction for its exceptional efficiency. Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative for heating and cooling your home. By transferring heat rather than generating it, these systems consume significantly less energy than traditional heating or cooling methods. This not only translates to cost savings in the long run but also contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.

A heat pump appliance generally have better savings than an electric one over the life of the product, but the opposite can be true as well depending on the appliance. Many factors can play into your final choice from overall cost to availability. You can use Energy Star ratings to help you make your decisions if cost is your main concern.

Energy Star Appliances: Maximizing Efficiency in Your Home

Energy Star appliances play a pivotal role in maximizing the efficiency of your household devices. The Energy Star label signifies that the product meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. From refrigerators to washing machines, Energy Star appliances not only consume less energy but also often incorporate advanced technologies that enhance their overall performance. Making the switch to these certified appliances not only benefits the environment but also puts money back into your pocket through reduced energy bills. 

Whenever we begin researching a new appliance, we start by searching the Energy Star Product Finder database and sort by the “combined energy factor (CEF)”. This lets you find appliance options that have the best energy usage. Make sure to still do additional research on reviews, annual energy usage, etc. But this database is a great place to start. (Pssst, Energy Star also has a rebate finder!)

Appliances We’ve Swapped

In our home, many of our appliances were energy-star and electric, except for a few major ones that were gas-powered and getting towards the end of their lifespan. As budget allowed, we’ve been able to swap out these critical appliances to greatly improve our home energy efficiency.

We’ve swapped our HVAC system to a Heat Pump system and no longer have a gas-powered furnace. Additionally, we chose a heat pump dryer for our laundry room and DIY installed a heat pump water heater for our house. With these swaps, we were able to disconnect from our gas utility completely and achieve home electrification. No more gas bills ever!

Home Depot and Lowe’s are great resources for Energy Star appliances and typically have great options readily available. Upgrading to electric or heat pump appliances and opting for Energy Star-rated products are impactful ways to electrify your home.

Install Solar Panel System

At the forefront of home electrification can be the installation of a solar panel system. This isn’t just about slapping a few solar panels on your roof; it’s a transformative step towards harnessing the power of the sun to meet your energy needs. 

Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, offering a clean and renewable energy source that reduces your dependence on traditional power grids. The initial investment in a solar panel system can be expensive. However, over time, it pays dividends through reduced electricity bills and, more importantly, a reduced carbon footprint. With advancements in solar technology and government incentives, now is an opportune moment to make the switch to solar power.

Our Going Solar Journey

After buying a house, we always wanted to convert to solar energy, so we began researching and analyzing the costs and feasibility of solar. Understanding if our home had the right solar conditions, and calculating the payback period for the system were both crucial steps prior to buying a solar panel system.

From there, we decided to buy a DIY solar panel system kit from GoGreenSolar and install it on our roof ourselves. It was definitely a process, but it turned out great. Years later, we are now continually saving money, especially as we finished electrifying our entire home recently.

Check out our Going Solar Series on how we DIY installed solar panels, costs, & our experience with the whole process!

Choose Solar-powered Or Electric Home Goods & Generators

Electrifying your home extends beyond appliances to home goods you use daily. Consider upgrading to solar-powered outdoor lights, eliminating the need for conventional electricity or batteries. From solar-charged garden decor to practical outdoor lighting, these goods leverage the power of the sun to illuminate your space while minimizing your ecological impact. 

Here are some of the eco-friendly swaps we made with our home goods and tools:

Related – Down To Earth Tips For Eco-friendly Lawn Care

Eco-friendly Lawn Care

Consideration for Solar-Powered Generators

If you use a generator frequently or want back up power in emergencies, consider a solar-powered generator like Jackery. Unlike gas-powered generators, solar-powered generators run quietly, have a long lifespan, are low maintenance, and provide clean energy from the sun. They convert sunlight into electricity using a controller to regulate the power output and store energy in a battery system.

Related – The Best 5 Solar Powered Generators For Home

Opting for solar-powered or electric home goods is a conscientious move towards sustainability.

Improvements For Energy Efficiency

Electrifying your home can go beyond just embracing renewable energy sources. Optimizing everyday home systems and devices to be more energy-efficient can also go a long way.

Smart Thermostats: Regulating Energy Usage and Saving Costs

Installing a smart thermostat can increase your home’s heating and cooling system efficiency. Unlike traditional thermostats, these intelligent devices adapt to your lifestyle, learning your preferences and adjusting temperatures accordingly. The ability to create customized schedules and remotely control the thermostat via a smartphone app also ensures that energy is used precisely when needed. 

Smart thermostats also provide valuable insights into your energy consumption patterns, empowering you to make informed decisions on how to optimize your home’s climate control. With features like geofencing and occupancy sensing, these devices ensure you’re not wasting energy when you’re away, leading to substantial cost savings over time.

LED Lighting: Illuminating Your Home Efficiently

Lighting is necessary in any home, and the shift to LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology is a game-changer in terms of energy efficiency. LED bulbs use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, translating to lower electricity bills and a reduced environmental impact. 

Beyond their energy savings, LED lights have a longer lifespan, reducing the frequency of replacements and contributing to a decrease in overall resource consumption. With a spectrum of color options and dimmable features, LED lighting not only illuminates your home efficiently but also allows you to create the perfect ambiance for any occasion.

One of our first tasks when we bought our home was to switch out all the light bulbs with LED lights and recycle the old, less efficient ones.

Swapped out our whole home for LEDs

Integrate Home Automation For Energy Management

The integration of home automation systems takes electrifying your home to a whole new level of sophistication and efficiency. Smart home hubs, like Google Home or Amazon Echo, serve as the command centers for connected devices, enabling you to control various aspects of your home with just your voice or a tap on your smartphone. 

When it comes to energy management, home automation provides real-time insights into your energy usage. From smart plugs that monitor and control individual appliances to smart light switches that can be turned off from anywhere, these technologies streamline your home’s energy consumption. The ability to program scenarios, such as “Away” or “Sleep,” ensures that energy is used judiciously, contributing to both environmental sustainability and reduced utility bills.

We have our whole home lighting schedule set to turn everything off by a certain time at night to ensure lights are not left on when we’re asleep. The automated lighting controls minimize waste and are extremely convenience for us. For example, we can simply tell Google to turn off the basement lights when our child forgets to turn them off after leaving the room. Thus, saving energy and saving us a trip down the stairs!

Our smart light switches are sync’d to a Google home schedule

The inclusion of smart thermostats, LED lighting, and home automation stitches together efficiency, convenience, and environmental consciousness. These technologies not only bring a touch of the future to your home but also empower you to actively participate in creating a more sustainable world.

Reduce Your Costs With Rebates & Incentives

One key aspect of the home electrification movement is the ability to reduce costs through rebates and incentives. Let’s explore how embracing home electrification can be a fiscally responsible choice and where to find these valuable incentives.

Rebates & Incentives

Costs and investments are always one of the major challenges for many wanting to embark on the journey of home electrification. However, the array of rebates and incentives available make it a much more viable option. 

Governments, utility companies, and environmental organizations around the world are keen on encouraging homeowners to adopt cleaner and more energy-efficient technologies. As a result, a variety of financial incentives and rebates are offered to offset the initial costs of electrifying your home. These incentives often target specific technologies such as solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, or home automation systems. By taking advantage of these programs, homeowners not only contribute to a greener planet but also enjoy significant savings on their electrification investments.

DSIRE rebate database examples

Where to Find Rebates & Incentives

There are a vast amount of rebates and incentives for home electrification, and finding these opportunities can take a little research. Here are some key avenues to explore:

  • Government Programs: Many governments run programs and initiatives to encourage citizens to adopt energy-efficient technologies. Visit your local government’s official website or reach out to energy agencies to explore available incentives.
  • Utility Companies: Check with your local utility company for rebates and incentives. They often offer programs to promote energy conservation and may provide financial assistance for adopting electrification measures such as solar panels or energy-efficient HVAC systems.
  • Environmental Organizations: Non-profit organizations and environmental groups are often at the forefront of promoting sustainable living. Explore incentives offered by these organizations to support your efforts towards home electrification.
  • Manufacturer Rebates: Some manufacturers offer rebates directly to consumers as an incentive to choose their energy-efficient products. When considering new appliances or systems, check with the manufacturer for any ongoing rebate programs.
  • Online Platforms: Numerous online platforms aggregate information on available rebates and incentives based on your location and the specific electrification measures you’re interested in. These platforms simplify the process of finding applicable programs, ensuring you don’t miss out on potential savings.

There are also national databases such as the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Residential Network that are great starting points to find rebates and incentives for sustainable home improvements.

DIY vs. Professional

Another aspect many homeowners find themselves contemplating is whether to embark on a do-it-yourself (DIY) journey or enlist the expertise of professionals. Understanding the nuances and considering the time investment involved in home electrification is essential for making an informed decision.

Factors Influencing Your Decision

The decision between a DIY approach and hiring professionals hinges on various factors. Always do your research and consider the complexity of the project, your comfort level with technical tasks, and the time you can realistically commit. DIY projects can offer a hands-on learning experience and a sense of achievement, but they may be better suited for smaller, less intricate tasks depending on your capacity. For larger and more complex projects, the expertise of professionals ensures the job is done efficiently and adheres to safety standards.

Budget also plays a factor in your decision to DIY or hire help. DIY options can lead to cost savings and a smaller investment initially, but can also extend the timeline to complete a project. Professional services will typically get a project done at a faster pace, but the investment can be double the cost or more.

Choosing DIY for Entry-Level Electrification

Starting with DIY projects is a practical approach to home electrification. Swapping incandescent bulbs for LED lighting, installing smart thermostats, or incorporating energy-efficient appliances are manageable tasks that introduce you to home electrification without overwhelming complexity. This allows you to gradually build confidence and understanding before tackling more advanced projects.

Depending on your skills and willingness to learn, you can even do more complex DIY projects to improve your home like we did with installing our own solar panels. But it could even be more like adding insulation to your attic and walls, which takes a little more time and knowledge than screwing in light bulbs, but is not as complex as the electrical wiring for solar energy.

Enlisting Professionals for Complex Projects

For projects that involve significant electrical work, structural changes, or the installation of complex systems, seeking professional assistance can be a wise decision. Professionals bring not only technical expertise but also the assurance that the work meets safety standards. 

It always helps to find a reputable contractor who’s excited about electrification. When we had our heat pump HVAC system installed, several contractors gave us quotes. However, even though we told them the goal was to remove fossil fuel usage from our home, most of the contractors still pushed us to do a gas furnace option. We knew what we wanted though. We eventually found a contractor who was happy to discuss and go over the details of different levels of heat pump furnace options with excitement and who was knowledgeable.

Electrification Takes Time

Home electrification is a process that unfolds over time, requiring careful planning and execution. Whether you opt for the DIY route or engage professionals, it’s essential to recognize that electrification involves multiple stages. From the initial assessment of your home’s energy consumption to the implementation of renewable energy sources, each step demands thoughtful consideration. 

DIY projects may take longer due to the learning curve and the need for meticulous attention to detail. On the other hand, professionals bring expertise to the table, streamlining the process and potentially reducing the overall time frame for completion, but this typically comes at a much higher cost.

Replacing all of the fossil fuel appliances and components in a home all at once would be expensive. It took us 7 years to completely electrify our home! Some of those years the budget did not allow us to make any improvements, but that’s okay. Steps towards sustainable home improvements, whether big or small, move the needle on the overall goal and impact.

Celebrating our disconnect from our gas utility, the last step in our home electrification journey!

More Sustainable Home Improvements

As we navigate the evolving landscape of home electrification, these choices empower us to embrace a future where our homes are not just spaces of comfort but also beacons of environmental responsibility.

So check out more of our Sustainable Home Improvements and DIY projects articles for inspiration!

Hope this guide on electrifying your home helps you make progress on your sustainable living journey! Let us know how you’re home electrification is going and what steps you are taking in the comments below!

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Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

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