You’ve heard it all before. Making your home more energy-efficient is not only good for the environment, it’s good for you.
After reading a surplus of articles and doing some research, you probably have a lengthy list of improvements you want to eventually make to your home in order to make it more energy-efficient. As you’re looking at that list, you might be wondering how homeowners even have the budget to enhance their homes. Or, you may be completely skeptical that any of these improvements will actually work in transforming your home and saving you money.
A question that I get a lot from homeowners: “Does an energy-efficient home really pay off?” Instead of a simple “yes,” I like to tell them exactly what they can expect from certain improvements. Below is a list of some of the most common energy-efficient projects, ranging from big to small in terms of size and overall cost, and an estimate of what you can expect to save every year as a result.
Seal All Leaks
As your home ages, it will begin to experience natural wear and tear. Cracks begin to form, insulation begins to wear down, and the temperature in your home begins to fluctuate. During the colder months, it will take more energy to keep your home warm. And, vice versa, in the warmer months, your heating and cooling system will need to work harder to keep your home cool. Inspect your home to find all of the uncontrolled leaks and seal them. This simple fix alone can save you, on average, $80-$170 per year.
Replace Your Toilet
This is not a home improvement project that many homeowners realize can make your home more energy-efficient. Older model toilets use a significant amount of water to flush. If you buy a newer, more energy-efficient model, your toilet will use less water, which could save you around $100 per year.
Install Storm Windows
Depending on how old your windows are, you may not be able to get away with simply sealing the leaks anymore. In this case, homeowners often opt for replacing their current, worn-down windows with storm windows. Storm windows are not as expensive as higher-quality models, but they do a great job at cutting down your energy bills. In fact, storm windows can help homeowners save $100-$280 every year!
Replace Your Most-Used Lightbulbs
Next time your family is all home, make it a point to observe their habits. Look for the areas in your home that get the most traffic. Which lights are turned on and left on most frequently? Replace these lightbulbs with bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR approval. By replacing just a handful of these bulbs, you can save between $70-$80 annually. Once you make this change, educate your family on how to preserve energy:
- Don’t use lights during the day unless it’s absolutely necessary (take advantage of the natural light).
- Whenever you leave a room, make sure to turn the light off on your way out.
- If you’re not home, don’t waste electricity by keeping your lights on.
These are just a few home improvement upgrades that you can feasibly make in the near future. As you can see, every new enhancement comes with some sort of savings. The more energy-efficient changes you make, the higher your annual savings will be!