If you are looking to make some house upgrades, you should carefully plan so that in the end, you have a home you enjoy AND that you save money on energy costs.
In the last decade or so, energy costs around the country have risen by about 15%. This upward trajectory is unlikely to change anytime soon. Electricity prices are dependent upon natural gas. As rates are expected to increase, your cost to have electricity and heat for your home will also go up.
Target your Upgrades on Energy Saving
If you’re looking to significantly cut down on those energy bills, simply switching off lights and electrical items when not in use doesn’t make much difference. While it’s good to be vigilant that way, you’ll need a bit more proactive approach to considerably save money.
Making house upgrades is one approach to reducing your power consumption. In fact, many such upgrades are likely to provide a two-fold benefit. In addition to decreasing your energy consumption, they would also add overall value to your home. Here are some practices worth considering to save energy and upgrade your home.
Installing energy-efficient light bulbs will make a noticeable difference to your electricity bill. They’re amongst the cheapest home improvement options you can do. So, if finances are tight, then just replace your regular lightbulbs, often CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps). Choose from a variety of LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights. These can be 85% more energy-efficient.
Even though LEDs are slightly more expensive, they consume less power and last longer than CFLs. This means fewer units will be used up and consequently, you would have a much lower electricity bill.
Having the right insulation prevents loss of energy in your home. This ensures that your home remains adequately cool in the summer and reasonably warm in the winter. It makes sense that if your house has pockets where air can flow, you will pay more to heat and cool your home.
After years of homeownership, your house’s insulation breaks down and becomes inefficient. You may wish to look into having your home evaluated for energy loss. There are available resources often through the energy providers that you can use to show you ways of improving your energy consumption and spend. They sometimes can provide free or reduced-cost products and services, including insulation.
For the best results with covering your home, consider getting the garage, basement, attics, crawlspaces and other such portions insulated.
There are a number of ways temperature is regulated. It is wise to do a thorough inspection of all air conditioning ducts, heating ducts, and crawlspace for leaks. Take care of any leaks so that energy losses can be stemmed and the temperature maintained.
Temperature regulation is especially important for summertime air conditioning. At the start of the long hot season, you should ensure that your air conditioning is right. According to experts, homeowners often make the mistake of having a very large air conditioning setup that doesn’t run as efficiently as a smaller one would. What tends to happen is that large air conditioners fill your home with cold air pretty quickly. This adds extra moisture which results in greater condensation and the formation of mold.
Another option that can help you maintain the right temperature in any season is a programmable thermostat. You can turn it down when the place is empty or everyone has gone to sleep. Moreover, once the thermostat has been programmed, temperature maintenance would be chiefly automated with no manual adjustment needed.
Upgrade the Appliances
If your electrical appliances both big and smallhave been around for a long time, this might be the right time for an upgrade.
Think about all your household appliances:
- coffee brewers
- washing machines
- vacuum cleaners
- air conditioners
- water heaters
Older appliance models tend to consume more power. So, consider giving a this home upgrade. Doing so can provide four times more energy efficiency.
Seal the Windows and Doors
Sometimes you just can’t replace older windows and doors. It’s a big-ticket item for your home. Adding caulking or weather stripping around the windows and doors is a cost-effective way to eliminate drafts and heat or cool your home.
If your windows are single-paned, you might rather consider getting new ones. Caulking or weather stripping would be an inadequate thing to do as part of your house upgrades plan.
Modern window designs are better at keeping the interior temperature regulated. This is because not much hot or cold air is able to escape through them. For the best results, you are recommended to go for windows having wooden frames (or wood-clad frames). But, they will be heavier on your wallet compared to aluminum or vinyl models. That being said, investing money or effort into your doors and windows is worth it to save energy loss.
Consider Renewable Energy
Should your budget allow it, you should definitely consider a viable renewable energy plan. Perhaps it’s time to think about getting solar panels installed. By using the sunlight to convert to usable energy, you will save money and be good for the environment. Another renewable energy source you might think about is the way you heat your home’s water. About 1/5th of the money you spend on energy in your home is just to heat water. Consider energy-saving systems such as on demand systems.
Various renewable energy options are available. If you’re unsure, then getting a professional home energy assessment might do the trick. Such service providers know about the available choices and can guide you accordingly.
You should make thoughtful decisions when it comes to making any house upgrade. Plan to consider your home’s energy efficiency in any home improvement. And consider what projects give you the most value. Your house upgrades should always consider ways to save energy and money.