5 Best Energy Efficient Upgrades For Your Home
Although improving energy efficiency is a practical goal, it's not without initial costs. That's why it's important to focus on home improvements with a high return on investment (ROI). Whether you're buying a new construction home or just renovating, these high-ROI upgrades reduce energy consumption while improving resale value. Some projects make a significant difference, even without a high up-front cost. Let's take a look at some of the most efficient home improvements.
Energy-efficient Appliances Can Save You Money
Appliances use the most energy in the home, so upgrading to EnergyStar models can significantly affect energy consumption. Appliances with the EnergyStar rating use less energy than the federal standards. Homeowners may notice improvements by switching these appliances to EnergyStar:
- Washers & dryers
- Air conditioners
Installing the appliances within a few years of selling can increase the home's value and lower energy consumption. Smart upgrades can also improve a home's efficiency by ensuring nothings goes to waste, from water to electricity. That's why energy-efficient appliances often go hand-in-hand with smart technology upgrades, working in sync to make your home more convenient and affordable.
Increase Insulation in Key Areas of the Home
Homeowners spend hundreds or thousands per year on heating and cooling their homes, which could be wasted on poor insulation. Improving insulation helps keep heated and air-conditioned air circulating inside the house for longer, decreasing overall costs. Most homes built in the 20th century or earlier could probably benefit from increasing the insulation, particularly in the attic. Adding insulation is not an especially expensive project, so it can have more than 100 percent ROI. In many cases, homeowners can install new insulation on top of old insulation, even if it is a different type. Sustainable construction practices have improved vastly over the years, making this project a great place to start.
Maximize HVAC Efficiency by Ventilating Your Attic
Homeowners with an attic, especially in older homes, may spend more than necessary to manage a stuffy attic. Hot air rises, which means the attic can steal much of the heated air in winter and force the home's HVAC system to work harder in summer. Adding attic ventilation cycles the air that reaches the attic back into the home for conditioning. With this upgrade, homeowners may spend much less on heating and cooling.
Consider Replacing Your Windows
Upgrading to new windows improves energy efficiency and curb appeal. Windows tend to be the most inefficient parts of the home's exterior because of the structure of the glass panes. Older windows are even less efficient, especially if they are settled and have air leaks around the casing. New windows have improved technology, such as Low-E film that decreases non-solar heat gain. Double-paned and triple-paned windows reduce heat transfer and sound. As an added benefit, window upgrades make the home exterior look newer.
Install Solar Panels on Your Home's Exterior
At about $3 per watt, installing solar panels reaps plenty of gains for energy efficiency and resale value. The annual ROI homeowners get on solar panel installation is about 10 to 20 percent, depending on the amount of energy produced and the region's climate. However, homeowners planning to sell the home within a few years may get additional benefits. Home buyers strongly prefer homes with an existing solar panel system ready for use. They may pay up to $15,000 more for a home with solar panels that are owned outright.
Make Your Home and Your Wallet Greener
Home improvements can be fun, especially when they increase your home's curb appeal and overall comfort. By choosing high-ROI energy-efficient upgrades, you can make the most of your upgrades by making your money back in reduced costs. Plus, keeping up with green building trends can help your home gain a big boost in resale value!