When making home improvements, it’s hard to know what’s worth it. These upgrades are sure to pay off, saving you energy and money on utility bills.
Purchase energy efficient appliances
It’s no surprise that large appliances are major energy users. Consider upgrading any clothing washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, oven or dishwasher that is not ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR appliances will typically use 10-50% less energy than their non-certified equivalents.
Install a programmable thermostat
By upgrading to a programmable thermostat, you are able to choose the days and times you’d like your air or heat to turn on, and what temperature you’d like your house to be during those times. Not only does this give you more control and increase comfort, it can save you energy and money by allowing you choose settings for optimal efficiency. As an added bonus, a programmable thermostat can also help to extend the life of your equipment since it won’t have to work as hard at certain times during the week.
Replace or seal doors and windows
Newer doors and windows do a great job keeping air in, not allowing it to escape. If yours are old, consider replacing them. If you have newer doors and windows that just need a little TLC, consider adding weather stripping or caulking to eliminate drafts and make your home easier (and cheaper!) to heat and cool.
Upgrade to energy efficient HVAC equipment
If your HVAC system is older, it may be time to consider a replacement. Because of the major leaps that have been made in energy efficient HVAC technology, even systems that are just 10-15 years old could be considered inefficient by today’s standards, and could be costing you tons of money each month on utility bills.
Install a tankless water heater
A tankless water heater eliminates the energy costs associated with keeping a constant supply of hot water stored in a tank. Instead, tankless water heaters only heat water when it’s needed. They also tend to have a longer lifespan when compared to traditional water heaters.
Consider low-flow plumbing
Installing low-flow faucets, toilets and shower heads is a simple way to decrease your water usage. Low-flow plumbing is relatively inexpensive, and you’ll likely start to see a return on your investment just a few months after installation.
Most homes can benefit from additional insulation. By adding just one layer of insulation to your attic, you can experience significant energy savings and make back your investment in just a few short years, if that. If you’re not sure where to start, the U.S. Department of Energy has some great resources regarding adding insulation to existing homes.
Upgrade your lighting
Switching to more efficient lighting is a quick and easy way to see an energy savings. The most popular options are halogen incandescents, CFLs and LEDs. Although they can cost a bit more initially, they will save you money throughout their lifetime. Timers and dimmers can also be installed for even greater efficiency.
Bonus tip: Complete a home energy audit
Not necessarily a home upgrade, but a home energy audit or assessment will help you recognize areas of energy saving opportunity. An auditor will analyze your energy bills and inspect your home, prioritizing fixes and upgrades. Read more about home energy audits here.
Recognize savings with these energy efficient upgrades. Have questions? Contact our team.