Homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their property should take into account two factors when choosing upgrades: which ones will save the most money (on energy bills) and which ones will add the most value to my home? Some homeowners often go with the short-sighted decision that cheaper upgrades will always be better than more expensive ones. This is misguided, as pricier upgrades can add significant value to their home.
Going with cheaper upgrades or more accurately fixes, are not beneficial in the long run as pricier upgrades will still need to be done when the fixes fail. In this post, we’ll focus on home improvement tips to maximize energy savings while also adding real value to your property.
1. Window Replacement
Your windows can play an important role within your house as old drafty windows can naturally lead to higher energy bills since they most likely weren’t designed for conserving energy. While on the other hand, new energy efficient windows can help protect your family from the chill of winter and cool during the summer. In addition, UV protection coating will further protect against furniture fading and sunlight-related health issues.
So how do you know if your windows are due for a replacement? Common signs to look for are cracked seals, condensation between the panes and whether your home feels draftier than usual.
2. Insulation in the Attic
Do you have the proper amount of insulation in the attic? If you’re unsure about this, the U.S. Department of Energy has a handy fact sheet that guides you as to whether your insulation is sufficient for a given climate. If you live in an old home, it might be wise to seriously look into the insulation in the attic.
Everyone knows that hot air rises, and it’s the job of the insulation in the attic to make sure that it doesn’t escape. Heat loss in the winter means your heating system has to work overtime to make up for the heat lost through the attic. Newer homes can also be under-insulated, so be sure to look at the fact sheet to determine if you have enough insulation. Besides keeping your home warmer, insulation also lowers your energy bills.
3. Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are a cost-efficient way of improving the cooling and wind circulation inside your home. Fans will circulate the air around your home, which can be useful during the summer as well as winter. One of the most appealing aspects of ceiling fans is their power cost – they cost pennies to run per day. In some countries, fans are used as the primary method of cooling homes during the summer.
4. Roof Replacement
Roof replacement serves two important purposes: it gives you a chance to give your home a new look and also helps conserve (or repel) heat energy. An old and decaying roof will allow heat to escape during the winter and absorb heat during the summer. Of course, this is highly disadvantageous for your home’s internal climate. You can save significantly on your electricity bill by having an energy-efficient roof installed.
Another perk of a new roof is that it adds curb appeal and value to your home. Most roofs occupy a major portion of a home and are thus the most visible feature. A decrepit roof will most certainly be a turn-off.
5. Replace Old Appliances with Newer Energy Efficient Models
While many may believe that older appliances are reliable, they may not be factoring if it is energy efficient. . Modern appliances are made with energy savings as a major design consideration. Your old appliance might work fine but it’s costing you dearly in the electricity bills.
Old refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers are appliances that you should consider replacing the most as they tend to consume the most electricity.
6. Improve the Lighting
Incandescent lighting has huge energy requirements for the amount of light given off. Newer lighting solutions through LED or CFL (which is an older yet energy-saving technology) are much better in terms of energy efficiency. What’s more, LEDs are made with a variety of different color options so you can still get that incandescent light without the unreasonable power requirements.
Lighting can also be improved by installing larger windows. By letting in more natural light, larger windows also make the occupants feel better.
7. Efficient Water System
Water is a precious commodity and should be treated as such by your home’s water system. Installing low-flow or custom-flow plumbing fixtures such as showerheads and faucets allow you to drastically cut down water usage. Adjustable models are preferable since you can manually choose your desired flow of water. The great thing about low-flow shower and faucet fixtures is that they’re relatively affordable.
Not only do you save costs associated with your home’s water supply, but you’ll also help conserve a natural resource.
Tankless water heaters also deserve a mention here, as they heat water on-demand, rather than keeping it hot all the time. If you’re not convinced by these, you can opt for a modern tank water heater system and still get an improvement in efficiency.