As a home owner, your home’s energy efficiency is a large concern since inefficiency means a decrease and home quality as well as more expensive energy bills each month. Often, taking drastic measures to improve a home’s energy efficiency can be expensive, however some are necessary investments, while others are not as effective. Here are 5 energy efficient home improvements that are definitely worth the money.
- One of the best and most effective energy efficiency home improvements you can do is seal up a leaky, drafty house. If your home has lots of drafts, you are likely throwing money away say month in energy bills. It is smart to have a professional come in and assess the efficiency of your home in regards to how well it is sealed and insulated. A pro can apply a foam sealant in basement spaces to better maintain a comfortable temperature inside. This person can also add cellulose insulation throughout your attic, where air from outside usually comes in a vice versa. You can also make a big impact on your own with a DIY project. Purchase an indoor caulk at your local home and garden center. Inspect the edges of your external windows and doors and look for any leaks, gaps, cracks or holes. These should be filled in appropriately to keep outdoor air outside where it belongs. In addition, you can attach a door sweep under external doors to help reduce drafts significantly as well as dust and particles.
- Invest in buying Energy Star approved appliances. While these are often more expensive upfront, the long term savings are tremendous and worth the initial investment. All Energy Star approved appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves and even computers are designed to specifically guarantee the same results as other products, while only using a fraction of the energy to power the appliance, saving you money regularly and also protecting the environment by being less wasteful.
- Replace your old, leaky windows with energy efficient, double-paned windows instead. Again, these are a bit more expensive but the technology is worthwhile. Unlike one-paned windows, double-paned windows trap air in between, helping to prevent the external conditions form impacting your home’s indoor temperature. They are also sealed better, ensuring that drafts and leaks do not occur.
- Get your furnace inspected once per year to ensure it is in top condition. Over time, your furnace may reduce in efficiency because of a minor problem. If you don’t schedule regular maintenance this problem could go unnoticed for years and eventually lead to a much larger energy problem, and could even cause you to need to buy a completely new furnace which is a large, expensive investment. Protect your furnace by hiring a professional who can provide you with troubleshooting tips for your furnace and also assess it’s efficiency to help save you money by reducing energy waste.
- Finally, you may consider installing a programmable thermostat. These range in price from affordable to expensive depending on the model and features you choose. Most provide homeowners with the ability to scheduled times throughout the day when the thermostat should kick on or turn off to maintain a comfortable temperature. You can set it to shut off or lower when you leave for work, but then turn back on about 20 minutes before you plan to return home from work to ensure you come home to a comfortable home environment. This saves energy and takes out the guess work of a manual thermostat.
While some home energy efficiency projects are not worth the cost or investment, others are definitely worth it. Improving your home’s energy efficiency is often a large initial investment, but know that the long term pay off will actually end up saving you money instead of costing you.