When most homeowners hear the word efficiency, they tend to think of monthly recurring costs like heating and electric bills. However, energy efficiency upgrades are about much more than saving a few bucks every month. In fact, upgrades to home efficiency are some of the most cost effective ways to increase the value of your home. Furthermore, many energy efficient upgrades are relatively easy to install, especially with the increasing popularity of energy efficient systems.
Here are a few of the most common ways that homeowners increase the value of their home by upgrading its energy efficiency profile, making it more appealing to future homeowners when the time comes to sell.
Central Heating and Cooling
Because heating and cooling are such central aspects of many people’s energy bill, it is no wonder that they are also a place where you can save big by investing time and energy in making them as efficient as possible. While both central heating and cooling systems tend to last quite a long time with the proper care, they are also often neglected until they fall into critical disrepair.
In addition to replacing the heating and cooling units, one aspect of central heating and cooling systems that is too often overlooked is the vent system of the home. Leaky vents can be a huge drain on energy efficiency, and consequently the value of your home. Luckily, appointments to have ducts checked for leaks are relatively cheap and easy to do, particularly considering the potential savings involved.
Another critically important element in home energy efficiency is the appliances used, from big to small. While some of your appliances may go with you when you move, some of the bigger ones may remain in the home after you move out. This is especially true of appliances that become part of the home once installed, such as hot water heaters in the basement, or furnaces.
This is one of those areas where the initial cost may be high, particularly for certified washers, dryers, and refrigerators, where the cost for energy efficiency models outstrips that of generic models. However, if the initial price tag can be stomached, long term returns are well worth it. The most efficient appliances can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over their lifetime.
Energy efficient lighting is another important element of an efficient household. When most people think of efficient lighting they think only of LED light bulbs. LED bulbs are important and can save you a lot of money on your electric bill. In fact, LED bulbs tend to use only about 1/4th of the energy used by incandescent light bulbs. However, there there are more ways than one to cut down on lighting costs. For example, think about the other places where you interact with your lighting systems, such as light switches and sensors. Take advantage of every opportunity to make your lighting more efficient and weed out any weak links.
Even if you have a highly efficient central heating and cooling system, and take care not to let air conditioning escape through windows, doors, and other potential leak zones, it is important to remember how your interior and exterior walls themselves are vital to keeping your energy bills low. High quality insulation is one of the main factors determining whether your heating and cooling is efficient.
In many homes, the main area lacking in insulation is the unfinished basement or attic. In addition to saving your money on energy, finishing these areas by installing insulation and drywall can improve the value of your home by freeing up extra living space for potential residents.
Just about every year, solar panels become cheaper and easier to buy and install. Not only are they a great way to save money and help out the environment, but for many, a new set of solar panels on the roof are an aesthetic bonus, making the house’s look more modern. Even if you aren’t the sort of person who is typically interested in environmentally friendly appliances, the sheer cost-saving potential of solar energy is worth looking into.
Windows and Doors
Last but not least, windows and doors are a vital part of every homeowner’s cost saving strategy. When it comes to windows, it is important to remember that many aspects of a window’s design (as well as its age) can affect its energy efficiency. For example, newer window models tend to seal air in more tightly, and many feature a double-paned design that helps trap air in. Doors are also important, particularly since they are used so frequently.
If you are in need of new windows and doors for your home, invest in the quality afforded to you by Vinyl-Lite. With decades of experience, Vinyl-Lite is sure to meet your needs as a customer and a homeowner.