While it is true that home is where the heart is, it might also be said that home is where the heat is. Or, at least, where the heat should be. The expenses of heating a cooling a home can be costly. With a few purposeful improvements, homeowners can save money on energy costs while also increasing the real estate value of a property. Here are a several home improvement projects that go green while allowing you to keep a bit of green in your wallet.
Shop for upgraded appliances that have good Energy Star ratings. Upgrading appliances throughout the home, but particularly in the kitchen and bathroom, will save money on energy use while adding value to a home. On the real estate market, newer appliances in a home add to the property’s list price.
It seems counterintuitive to go green (and save some green) by thinking pink, but saving on energy consumption starts with proper installation. The pink stuff in your basement or attic may not be sufficient. Studies show that almost half of all homes are insufficiently insulated. Proper insulation will increase the overall value of your home, and it has the added benefit of keeping hot and cold air inside the home. To lower your natural gas bills, think pink to save green.
Open a Window
But make it a new window. Replacing old windows is an attractive home upgrade that adds resale value. However, replacement windows are more energy efficient than old, aluminum windows. Vinyl windows are recommended for tight seals that keep homes comfortable in all weather conditions. Keeping warm and cool air inside the home results in lower utility bills.
Get the Door
Add a bit of style and curb appeal to your home by upgrading the front door. A front door that is modern and reflects the overall look of a residence will increase property value. A solid-body door is a great way to cut energy costs, as the solid structure will prevent air from escaping. Many residences have hollow, metal doors that allow air to leak. A properly fitted, solid door will do wonders for your home and for your wallet.
Explore the Basement
Take a survey of the mechanicals in your basement or utility room. Installing new a new HVAC unit or an upgraded hot water heater add value to your home and save money on utilities. New HVAC units are energy efficient and will heat or cool your home with minimal wasted energy. Similarly, a tank-less hot water heater is an ideal way to save on water and heating bills. Without a tank to fill, water is heated as it is used, thereby avoiding the waste of heating a fixed amount of water. In a home powered by natural gas, the combination of a new HVAC system and a quality hot water heater promises unbeatable savings. At once, you can lower your natural gas bills by heating less water and lower your water use.
Get with the Program
Consider replacing your existing thermostat with a programmable thermostat. New thermostats allow homeowners to program temperature settings throughout the day. This upgrade helps manage energy use during time away from the house or overnight. Smarter energy use during time away or time asleep will impact utility bills in a positive way. An added perk of some new thermostats is that they can be easily and efficiently managed from smartphone apps. Estimates suggest that homeowners reap a ten percent savings in energy costs by using programmable thermostats.
Performing an energy audit, either on your own or with the help of an expert, is a great way to stay informed about opportunities to increase your home’s energy efficiency and resale value. Many states offer incentives to homeowners who purchase green appliances or make home upgrades. Specific information can be found online, but it is worthwhile to examine this information. Also, the Energy Start website contains valuable information on products and services that help homeowners increase energy efficiency while cutting costs.
Home improvement projects keep your home stylish. With a few choice upgrades, your home can be attractive and also energy-efficient. On the real estate market, a home that has curb appeal, as well as upgraded mechanicals and amenities demands a higher listing price. As a homeowner considering home improvement options, thinking green can help you save some green. When listing your home on the real estate market, thinking green will earn you green.