Homeowners have different reasons for doing home improvements. Two of the most popular reasons are to increase the market value of their homes and add character to their interior and exterior spaces. Whether for repairs or remodeling, they often turn to a mortgage company with the best loan programs to fit their budget for their home investment needs and bring the biggest impact on their homes.
But apart from improving the value and aesthetics of our homes, making them energy-efficient provides better returns than anything else. Although energy-saving upgrades are really expensive, most homeowners feel they will never get an immediate payback in the long-term. In reality, the best home upgrades will not only make your spaces more energy-efficient and livable, but they are also cost-effective by saving on utility bills.
Whether big or small, home improvement projects make a big difference in our finances by relieving you of the burden from high utility costs and maintenance expenses. If you want to add value to your home and make it energy-efficient, here are some home improvement suggestions to shave off money on energy bills.
Conduct energy audits
Before anything else, you need to identify the areas of the house that incur the highest electricity costs. This will give you an idea of which appliances require an upgrade and the parts of the house that need some repairing. At the same time, analyze previous utility bills and estimate the time to regain the upgrade costs of your home.
A simple Google search will give you energy audit companies that conduct home energy audits as well as energy safety guidelines. They also educate homeowners on making informed decisions when buying energy-efficient appliances. If you’re on a tight budget, local volunteer groups and utility companies offer free energy audits. But if you want to conduct the auditing yourself, the U.S. Department of Energy offers an online energy calculator and audit tool to guide you.
As you replace high energy-consuming appliances with energy-efficient ones, make it a habit to monitor energy use and find out if there are improvements. To save time and effort, use an energy monitor to track energy usage at home. Installing a smart meter is also a clever way to track electricity use by sending readings and providing electricity plans.
Replace high energy-consuming appliances
This technique is probably the best strategy that will provide significant changes to electricity bills. Investing more in energy-efficient models results in remarkable savings on energy and costs. A great way to start is in the kitchen where you can find the most demanding home appliances, such as the refrigerator, oven range, dishwasher, and microwave.
Since household appliances are one of the widely used electrical units at home, they tend to wear down after several years and repeated use. This can lead to inefficient appliances that result in high energy costs and repair expenses.
Changing the run time of a dishwasher can reduce energy costs. Most utility companies increase their electricity rates during peak hours when everyone is using their electronics and appliances at the same time. To avoid this, running the dishwasher only when it’s completely full will save on water and electricity costs. The reason for this is the dishwasher runs the same amount of energy and water regardless of the number of dishes you load in it.
For heating and cooling systems over 15 to 20 years old, these old appliances are great candidates for a replacement since they’re already inefficient according to current energy standards. You may also consider adding ceiling fans around the house to prevent using the air conditioner the entire day. Fans allow the gentle breeze to circulate in rooms where you often hang out. You can also adjust its position to change the direction of air during the summer months.
Seal and insulate
If you want to prevent putting heavy loads on heating and cooling systems, sealing windows, doors, and floors will help retain energy around the house. Applying caulk, heat-safe tape, and weather stripping are simple and affordable options to seal those tiny gaps. Keep in mind that poor sealing allows energy to escape and cool air to come in, incurring more energy costs in the process.
Improving insulation can also make a big difference in energy consumption. Proper insulation on the attic, basements, garages, and crawlspaces reduces energy loss and retains cooling and heating around the house.
When saving money on utility bills, determine the appliances and areas around the house that consume energy the most. Learning about the pressure points on your energy consumption will give you a better advantage by finding the best strategies to lower utility bills and reduce environmental impact.