Energy-efficient Upgrades Can Also Increase The Value of Your Home.
Energy-efficient upgrades can not only shrink your utility bill, but they can also increase the value of your home. Getting a thorough energy audit can determine how much energy your home uses, and which home improvements would make the most sense for your home. An inspection may include an energy rating or a number that indicates how energy-efficient your home is.
Appliances: Your appliances account for about 15% of your home’s energy consumption, the DOE says. When upgrading, look at the kilowatt-hour usage of a new appliance and compare it to your current one. Also, a good Energy Star rating doesn’t necessarily mean it will use less energy than your current appliance!
Heating and Cooling Systems: According to the DOE, HVAC systems account for roughly 43% of your energy bill. Heating systems that are more than 15-20+ years are inefficient by today’s standards. While addressing your home’s heating and cooling systems, remember that leaks in your ductwork can be the most significant waste of energy in your home.
Improve Lighting: Saving money on your electricity bill could be as simple as switching to LED or CFL bulbs. Lighting costs account for up to one-third of a home’s overall electricity bill. Another option to reduce electricity usage from lighting a home is for homeowners to maximize natural light. Aside from adding value to a home, skylights or larger windows can be an excellent option for colder weather because they let more sunlight into the home naturally. Think of this as free warmth during the winter and a great way to combat those cold-weather blues. Natural light also helps the body produce Vitamin D.
Make Your Water Heater More Efficient: Tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand rather than keeping it hot around the clock, which uses much less energy. Standard water heaters have improved over the past decade in terms of efficiency, so any upgrade to an outdated unit will result in energy savings.
When it comes time to selling your home, bure sure to communicate that your home is energy efficient. Give your realtor utility bills or your energy rating to include when describing your home to potential buyers.