Energy Efficiency Upgrades That Pay For Themselves
If you’re looking to save money on your energy bill, or looking for a way to optimize your energy output, it is essential to consider energy efficient home upgrades.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s much more to “going green” than turning off the lights and limiting your water. Although these are significant steps that everyone should take to go green and save energy, it is still not enough. There are far more things that will help you lower your costs and live more efficiently. Here’s a roundup of the best energy efficiency upgrades that make your home life more green, control your utility bills, and help the planet.
Install Proper Roofing
One of the most important aspects of a home is the roof. The roof adds curb appeal. However,it also protects your home from any leakages during thunderstorms and even helps keep outside temperatures from seeping in. When temperatures leak into the house, you are more likely to notice an increase in your utility bills as you do more to stay comfortable.
A new roof will help hold heat inside and make your home more comfortable. This also saves money on your energy bills over the long term.
Consider adding solar shingles if you want a traditional look. These solar tiles use the same technology as solar panels but come in the form of conventional roofing tiles. These shingles are not added to your roof like solar panels but rather as the roof itself.. Solar roofs reduce energy costs as they use solar energy to power your home. Aside from this, they’re more aesthetically pleasing than traditional solar panels.
However, solar panels offer a variety of benefits that include:
- Renewable clean power is readily available every day of the year
- Store unused energy through batteries for nighttime control
- Safer than a traditional electrical current system
- Federal grants, tax incentives, and rebate programs help cover the initial installation costs.
Solar installation and home renovation, in general, can be a daunting task. However, one of the best ways to approach this is by hiring professionals who are experts in getting the job done right. Nowadays, this is relatively easy through design apps. These apps allow customers to find roofing contractors but it also allows roofing contractors to find leads that are verified and applicable with their services. Contractors list their services on apps like HouzzPro and it gives them access to leads that are looking for their services. Using apps like this will give both the customer and the contractor confidence that the work is being completed on time and efficiently while also ensuring that the best deal for all parties involved.
Whatever you choose to do, it is essential to recognize that the return on investment for either option far exceeds that of a traditional roof. You will also increase the value of your property and improve the sales price if you decide to sell your home in the future.
Energy Efficient Windows
Another great way to increase your property value and lower your costs over time is to install energy-efficient windows. According to Energy Saver, heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use without energy-efficient windows.
Typically, the best way to make your windows energy efficient is by updating your existing windows or replacing them entirely. If you are looking to update your windows, you will save a little more money than getting new ones altogether. Here are the few steps you can take to keep them up to date:
- Check your windows for any air leaks
- If you find leaks, apply caulk and weatherstrip
- Add energy-efficient window coverings
- Add storm windows and panels
- Add exterior shaders to your windows to keep temperatures from seeping into the home
For those looking to replace their windows, costs must be considered. However, while it can be expensive, the long-term benefits are worth it.
The cost of installing new energy saver windows ranges anywhere from $280 to $800 a unit. However, owners can expect to save anywhere from $150 to $500 a year once these windows are installed, depending on where they are staying and their energy consumption.
Energy-efficient windows help your home maintain consistent and comfortable temperatures year-round. They allow you to eliminate the patches of hot and cold spots in your home, create barriers for freezing temperatures in the winter, and keep hotter temperatures out during the summer. This ultimately saves you hundreds of dollars on HVAC costs.
ENERGY STAR® Appliances
We all want to save money, but it has become increasingly difficult to do that in today’s landscape. However, a sizable way of maximizing your savings while minimizing your costs is by adding ENERGY STAR® appliances to your home.
Here is a list of ENERGY STAR® appliances that pay for themselves:
- Laundry machines
- LED lights
- Solar water heaters
- Air purifiers
Adding these appliances is especially important today because electricity prices are rapidly increasing. Another benefit of ENERGY STAR® appliances is that they will last longer than traditional appliances that are not ENERGY STAR®. Typically, you can expect the life span of these appliances to last anywhere from 10-20 years and generate more savings for you in the long run. Although they may have more upfront costs, you can still expect to save hundreds of dollars per year with these additions.
Tune-Up Your HVAC Systems
It is no surprise that HVAC systems are a significant portion of all energy costs in a home. However, it is surprising how many people are not aware of ways to lower the prices of these systems and save money in the process.
Making HVAC systems energy efficient does not require much. Something as simple as a clean-up and maintenance check can lower your costs and improve efficiency. This, of course, also depends on the type of system you have. If you feel that you are paying too much to repair or maintain your HVAC system, it is probably in your best interest to invest in a newer and better quality system.
If you’re upgrading your system, check if the unit has high SEER ratings. Also, verify that units are in line with ENERGY STAR® metrics. The SEER rating is the measured ratio of cooling output. Typically, the higher the number, the more efficient the system is.
If you are looking to update your HVAC system and make minor changes, consider the following:
- Install smart thermostats
- Increase the insulation in your home
- Use duct sealants to prevent any leakages
- Change air filters frequently
- Use fans and accessories like curtains and blinds to keep the area comfortable
Ultimately, HVAC systems are easy to maintain and one of the most critical systems that contribute to your savings, or lack thereof. So, if you are looking for a cost-effective approach to saving money and upgrades that will generate lower bills, take a look into tuning up your HVAC.
For most people, energy efficiency is among the most important things to consider when looking at a home. Approaching this by installing proper roofing that can come in solar shingles or solar panels is an excellent way to save money and maximize your return on investment.
Finding opportunities within the house, such as air sealing and shading windows, is another excellent way to approach this. Although these may be more expensive, they are amazing ways to improve energy efficiency. We can improve efficiency with ENERGY STAR® appliances like refrigerators, lights, and dishwashers. The other more affordable option is to update and maintain your HVAC system.
Energy efficiency upgrades are among the best changes that a homeowner can make. They give owners a chance to save a lot of money over time that will eventually pay off the installation cost for most of the systems they include. Whether installing proper roofing, energy-efficient windows, ENERGY STAR® appliances, or even tuning up the HVAC systems, making these changes to a property will help homeowners save money and improve energy efficiency.