Update Your Home for Energy Efficiency
You know that improving the energy efficiency of your home isn’t just a good move for the environment; it can also dramatically cut down your utilities and home maintenance costs. Even the most expensive updates can more than pay for themselves over their lifetime. If you’ve already completed most of the quick-and-easy updates to your home, (Not sure? Check out our recent blog post, 5 Easy Steps to Energy Efficiency.), today we’re identifying some areas where you can make more substantial updates, which come with the potential for substantial savings too.
1. Heating and Air Conditioning
Energy Star-rated temperature control units can cut your energy bill dramatically. As much as half of the energy used in the average home goes to heating and cooling, so the savings will really add up. Depending on where you live, replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with Energy Star-qualified equipment can cut your annual energy bill by more than a hundred dollars! Not only that, a newer system will run more efficiently, keeping the temperature in your home more consistent, and keeping you more comfortable.
2. Home Appliances
Appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer, are responsible for about 10 to 20 percent of your energy bills. And an energy-star certified refrigerator alone is about 9 to 10 percent more efficient than the minimum standard. When considering the price of home appliance, it’s important to think about the monthly price tag that comes with use as well. There are lots of online resources for shopping and comparing appliances, and even tools for calculating your potential cost savings.
3. Insulation and Air Sealing
“Out of sight, out of mind,” has maybe never been more true. Home insulation has come a long way in the last few decades and, unless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you could probably benefit from an update. Whether it’s adding insulation to crawl spaces or attics, insulting garages or new additions, or just increasing the insulation in your existing walls, the proper insulation can easily save you up to 20 percent on your energy bills.
We all know that old windows can be drafty, but did you realize that updating to Energy Star-rated windows can cut your heating and cooling costs by as much as 30 percent? Combine that with your new Energy Star-rated heating and air-conditioning units, and you’re ready to sit back and enjoy a comfortable home—and a comfortable utility bill—no matter the season.
5. Your Home
Maybe it’s time to consider investing in a complete, Energy Star-rated home? Being 20 to 30 more energy efficient than standard homes, it’s easy to imagine the dramatic effect such an investment would have on your utility bills—while providing your family all the comforts and conveniences that a new home has to offer.
If you’re considering any of these updates, an energy assessment is a great place to start. Also known as a home energy audit, this can help identify areas of your home that present the greatest need of updating. We also offer rebates for many of these energy efficient home improvements. For more information, click here.