The Best Energy Efficiency Home Improvements You Should Make This Year
When it comes to improving the energy efficiency of your home, there are two questions you need to ask yourself. The first is which upgrades will save the most money and then which will add the most value to your home. To begin with, there are a series of simple upgrades you can make such as applying sealant around windows and installing weather strips around the doors. These quick fixes cost almost nothing and can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. The downside, if you can call it one, is that they’re not going to add value to your property. If you’re able to make an investment in your home at this time, here are 6 energy home improvements you should be considering.
A roof and walls that are poorly insulated can be a big cause of energy wastage. Get some decent loft insulation, and you could be saving a few hundred dollars every year. Insulation isn’t the most expensive material to buy, and you don’t have to worry about paying someone to install it for you. How much insulation does your home need? Guidelines have been produced by the US Department of energy that helps you decide how much insulation is needed depending on your local climate.
You can save money on your lighting bill by changing to LED or CFL bulbs. Up to one third of your home’s electricity bill relates to lighting, so it’s important to look for ways to save energy and money. Many new light fixtures are more energy efficient, and it also pays to look for ways to bring more natural light into your home.
Solar panels or wind power are the options for most homeowners. Solar panels are most effective on south-facing roofs with a pitch of around 30 degrees. Renewable energy is a big investment to make in your home, and it could be many years before the cost is recovered from lower utility bills. Solar panels work even when it's cloudy and some warm the water in your tanks by a small amount, thereby reducing your overall bills.
Upgrade Your Heating
If your boiler is older than 12 years old, consider replacing it with a more efficient model. Did you realize that an inefficient boiler can add several hundred dollars to your energy bill? As well as decreasing your bills, a new boiler will dramatically reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Windows and Doors
Any new windows or doors you install have to comply with minimum Building Regulations, but you should really aim to install the most efficient ones you can afford. If your budget is limited, or you’d rather spend your money on other improvements, consider sealing doors and windows and making them draught proof. Materials, such as expanding foam, can be purchased online.
If your home is older than 15 years, it may benefit from a new air conditioner, furnace or boiler. There are also more energy-efficient appliances you can purchase for your home.
These 6 home improvements will all lead to energy savings, and some may increase the value of your home. If you’re not sure which are right for you, it’s possible to consult with an efficiency inspector.