6 Energy Efficient Home Improvements That Pay Off
Excessive consumption of energy and water takes its toll on our planet and puts our future at risk. It’s clear that we need to take immediate action, but what intimidates most people is the price of that action. Adopting a green way of living doesn’t require large sums of money, and even the smallest change counts. The best place to start is your own home. Here are some energy-efficient ways to upgrade your home whilst saving money on your energy bills and doing your bit for the environment.
1. Insulate your home
Proper insulation of your home can lower your energy bills by more than 30 percent. Apart from retaining heat, insulation also prevents the appearance of mould and damp, which contributes to a cleaner indoor air. Insulating the attic is the best way to make your home energy-efficient, but you can do the same with walls, floor, and ceiling. The price varies according to the type of insulation you opt for. Here you can find out how much insulation is optimal for your home.
2. Seal off the leaks
Another important thing you need to do is check whether all energy you consume is put to a good use, and not wasted. Energy can escape your home through leaks, which results in higher bills. You can prevent this by sealing off the leaks that let the heat out. They most commonly appear around the windows and doors, but in the basement and in the attic as well. Spray foam and caulk are cheap and efficient ways of sealing off the cracks and they will lower your bills for up to 20 percent. You may also experience problems with heating ducts that can make the house seem chilly even though you’ve turned up the heating to the maximum. Heating ducts usually appear in the attic or garage and they can be sealed off quickly with the help of a duct sealant.
3. Get a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save a lot of energy that would otherwise be wasted. According to the US Department of Energy, lowering the temperature on your thermostat for 10 degrees for 8 hours can cut down your heating bill up to 10 percent. There’s a wide selection of affordable smart thermostats, so it’s one of the least expensive ways to conserve energy in your home.
4. Upgrade your appliances
Switching to energy-efficient appliances can significantly lower your bills. It can be too expensive to trade the old appliances for new ones all at once, but you can do it one step at a time. Start with a quality washing machine that conserves energy. Later on, you can continue with other improvements, like getting a refrigerator, dishwasher, and so on. It’s also a good idea to switch to high-efficiency water tanks, as they minimize the amount of energy needed for water heating and thus save you a lot of money.
5. Water efficiency
Shortage of fresh water is a reality and we need to redesign our homes to make them more water-efficient. Installation of low-flow shower heads will prevent excessive water consumption. These upgrades are inexpensive and they will reduce your water bill. If you have a yard, consider investing in a rainwater collection system. It will pay off as you can use this water for drinking, heating purposes, or watering your garden.
6. Window protection
Double-glazed windows may seem like a pricey option, but it’s a type of home improvement that definitely pays off. They do a better job in keeping your house warm in winter and cool in summer than single-glazed windows, thus preserving more energy. Double-glazed windows enable you to save more money on energy bills, which makes them a smart investment in the long run.
It’s financially impossible to do all of these home improvements at once, but proper arrangement of them will cost much less and you’ll get much more. Energy-efficient home helps save money while it also takes care of the planet.