· New Windows – This is one that is a tossup for most people as to whether or not to do it, largely due to the cost. Buying and installing new windows certainly isn’t cheap, but it can be huge for your energy savings each month. Double pane, energy efficient windows can save you a tremendous amount of money each month. While the upfront investment is costly, it pays off in the long run.
· New Weather Stripping – Weather stripping is the seal of foam around doors and windows, and it keeps drafts out and the air in your home inside. But as time goes on, it can quickly begin to deteriorate. Checking the seals on your doors and windows is a fast and easy way to see if you’re losing energy efficiency without realizing it. And replacing weather stripping is one of the cheapest ways to improve your home’s energy usage.
· More Insulation – Insulation is the option that most people think of when trying to determine how to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Attic insulation is the most important, and insulation in the attic should be at a minimum R-30. Wall and foundation insulation will matter as well, and in general it’s a good idea to spend time considering an upgrade in insulation.
· New Appliances – Appliances drain a tremendous amount of energy each day, and as a result it’s worth thinking about upgrading to today’s modern energy-friendly models. Washers, dryers, ovens, and refrigerators are all available in Energy Star variations, making it easy to cut down your power bill and energy use in a big way.
· Heat Unit Upgrades – If you’re running an older furnace or HVAC unit, it may be time to make an investment in a new system. Like new windows, this can be expensive, but in the end the cost savings on your monthly bill will make a big difference and make that investment worth doing. If you don’t buy a new unit, at least consider having some routine maintenance done on your existing one.
Not only will these five steps make your home more energy friendly and help lower power bills, but they can also have a big impact on your property values. The more of them you have in your home, the more valuable your home is likely to be. That means that if the time ever comes when you want to sell, you’ll be able to get more for it than you would have. Consider these steps and what they’re worth to you, and you’ll be on the path to a more economical and energy efficient home.