It’s no secret that homeowners worldwide invest heavily in upgrading their properties. Data indicates that Canada’s home improvement industry generated about $50.2 billion in sales in 2019 alone. Although there are countless home improvement projects you can carry out nowadays, it’s prudent to invest in energy-efficient home upgrades to save money on utilities and reduce your overall environmental impact. If you’re interested in energy-efficient home improvements worth considering, please take a look at these points.
Home Improvements That Save Will Reduce Energy Costs
1. Fix or replace your roof
Your roof protects your home through rain or sunshine, bearing the brunt of seasonal weather changes peculiar to your locality. Therefore, roof upgrades are always worth considering to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Your roof may be due for changing if it’s over twenty years old or if you observe missing, cracking, or curled shingles. A leaky roof is also a valid reason to consider roof replacement or repairs.
If you decide on a new roof installation, there are numerous energy-efficient roofing options you can consider. You can use roof materials made from clay or sheet metal since these options reflect heat instead of absorbing it, keeping your home cooler.
Tile roofing, shake shingles, and asphalt shingles are other energy-efficient options you can explore. Alternatively, consider using a cool roof coating to enhance your roof’s heat reflection capabilities if you decide against complete roof replacement.
2. Add extra insulation layers
Since heating and cooling costs constitute most of the average home’s energy bill, proper home insulation is worth the investment because it can help you enjoy significant utility savings. Consequently, ensure that all areas in your home are properly insulated to keep your cold or warm air inside.
However, it’s essential to pay special attention to your basement, crawlspaces, and attic, since you can save up to 15% by improving insulation in these areas alone. However, always balance proper home insulation with good ventilation since a well-sealed home can quickly become stagnant and polluted. A whole-home ventilation system can help you bring in fresh air from outside and vent stale indoor air, so keep this in mind to maintain your indoor air quality.
3. Replace or seal windows
Windows older than two decades need replacement, so you can consider installing more energy-efficient models in place of them. If complete window replacement isn’t necessary, consider storm windows as an easier and pocket-friendlier way to boost your old, single-pane windows’ efficiency.
Your windows are always a significant energy waste source and can consume between 10-25% of your heating bill. Therefore, installing energy-efficient windows can lower your heating costs in the long term.
4. Fix new cooling, heating, and water systems
New water heaters are energy-efficient home upgrades to consider, as all the leading water heater manufacturers are producing electric heat pump water heaters. Therefore, you can easily select these electric options over their fossil fuel counterparts.
Also, getting an Energy-Star HVAC system is worth considering if your current equipment is more than a decade old. Finally, consider installing a programmable thermostat to automatically reduce or turn off your heating and cooling while you’re asleep or not at home.
To reduce energy costs, you don’t have to spend a ton of money. In fact, even small changes can make a big difference. If you don’t have the budget to do one of the home upgrades above, here are some less expensive, easy things you can do that will also make your home more energy efficient.
- Seal cracks and leaks in your home with caulking.
- Switch to LED bulbs.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Replace old toilets and shower heads with low flow.
- Change HVAC system filters regularly.
- Replace high energy appliances with more efficient ones when needed.
- Install ceiling fans.
- Install window insulation kits in winter.
- Hand wash dishes instead of using the dish washer.
- Run the clothes and dish washer when full.
- Air dry clothes when possible.
- Set water heater on vacation mode and raise the thermostat when going on holiday.
- Use a energy efficient dehumidifier in the summer.
- Set your thermostat a few degrees higher in summer and lower in winter.
- Turn off lights when you leave the room.
- Shut down computers and game systems instead of using stand by mode when away or sleeping.
Making your home more eco-friendly not only reduces your carbon footprint, it will save you money and help you enjoy your home more.