Upgrade Your Home, Downgrade Energy Usage 7 efficient home improvement projects


The best home upgrades not only make spaces
more livable and energy-efficient but are
also cost-effective. Making energy-efficient
improvements is a savvy way to save money
on utility bills, curb energy usage and add to the
house’s value.

Consider a variety of home improvement projects,
both big and small, that can reduce the financial burden
of maintaining your home throughout the year and
improve energy efficiency.

Add Insulation
A cost-effective way to save on heating and cooling
bills is adding a layer of insulation in the attic where
heat loss is typically greatest due to hot air rising. While
many newer homes are adequately insulated, those that
are several decades old (or older) may benefit from an
upgrade in not only the attic but other common problem
areas where air can escape such as basements, crawl
spaces, fireplaces and ductwork.

Seal Doors and Windows
Windows and doors are common culprits for energy loss.
While a complete replacement of doors and windows can
be pricey, adding exterior caulk and weather stripping to
fill in gaps where air can escape around these openings
can make a noticeable difference for a fraction of the cost
and make it cheaper to heat and cool your home.

Install Skylights

Skylights are a cost-effective option for transforming
any room in the home with natural light while also
delivering energy-saving benefits. For example, Sun
Tunnel Skylights from Velux can be installed in as
little as 90 minutes and funnel natural light from the
roof through the attic and into the room below with an
aesthetic that resembles recessed lighting. Customizable
with six diffuser film styles to complement interior design,
the skylights can make a home more energy-efficient
by reducing reliance on artificial lighting. An optional
daylight controller makes it easy for homeowners to adjust
natural light entering a room, and a solar nightlight provides
a moon-like guiding light at night. Installed with the solar
nightlight, the skylights qualify for a 26% federal tax credit
on solar property.

Add Reflective Window Film
When the sun shines through windows, it can heat up the home’s interior
quickly and trigger the air conditioner to turn on. Window coverings, such as
blackout curtains, can help, but adding low-e reflective window film to your
windowpanes, particularly southern-facing ones, can provide an additional
shield from the sun’s hot rays and reduce energy costs.

Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is an efficient way to control the climate
inside your home, and those with smart technology take programming to
a whole new level. Today’s smart thermostats not only let homeowners
control temperatures from their smart devices while on-the-go but can
also learn daily habits and adjust the temperature accordingly with no
other manual adjustments necessary. In addition, some utility companies
offer incentives like money back at the end of the year for installing a
smart thermostat because the energy savings are so substantial.

Replace Appliances
Because appliances like refrigerators and ovens, among others, are major
energy users, investing in more efficient models provides both cost and energy
savings. Additionally, homes more than 15 years old could benefit from
updates to the air conditioner or heater as systems 15-20 years old or older
may be candidates for replacement as they’re inefficient by today’s standards.

Add Ceiling Fans
In comparison to running your air conditioner consistently, the cost of
running a ceiling fan (or several) is significantly less. Particularly on days
that may not require cooling the entire house completely, fans can provide
a gentle breeze and circulate air in the spaces you use most often. Simply
adjust the switch to the counterclockwise position to ensure it’s pushing air
downward during warmer months.

© 2020 Rob Wolf & Associates. All Rights Reserved.


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