You may have heard the buzz about energy-efficient home improvements. Often, when homeowners consider home updates, it’s out of necessity—something isn’t working, or there’s an issue that they need to address, like a broken door or drafty windows.
But did you know that by making these updates, you’ll also save money both in the short and long term? Not only do many home updates increase the value of your home and curb appeal, but they make your home energy efficient, saving you on your energy bills each month.
If you’re trying to prioritize your home improvements or considering an update, here are 5 energy-efficient home improvements that pay off for Wisconsin homeowners!
How to Energy Efficient Home Improvements Save Money
Remember when your parents told you, “Close that window! We’re not paying to heat the whole neighborhood!”? Well, in many ways they were right.
When you have drafty windows or doors in your house, you get “air infiltration.” That means the air from outside can get into your home, and air from your home can get out. In other words, when those wintery storms move into Southeastern Wisconsin, you’re paying more money to heat your home—cold air seeps into your house, and hot air escapes.
In the summer, we have the opposite effect. We all know how quickly temperatures can change here in Wisconsin. One day it’s freezing, and then you’re turning on your AC the next day. If your windows and doors aren’t energy efficient, you could be paying for cool air that isn’t staying inside your house.
Not only do energy-efficient home improvements save on home energy bills, but certain improvements may even qualify as tax credits for deductions. Uncle Sam will help you save when you’re making your home energy efficient because these environmentally friendly home updates are a benefit to all.
Finally, right now, real estate is a seller’s market. If you want to fetch a higher price for your house, a few energy-efficient home updates will increase the curb appeal and add value to your house. Potential buyers are always attracted to homes that are well taken care of. Asking, “How energy efficient is my home,” will help you prepare for a sale.
Even if you don’t plan to put your house on the market for a few years (or ever), energy-efficient home improvements are worth the investment today. You’ll save on home energy bills and utilities, increase your comfort, and maybe even get a deduction on your taxes. It’s a win-win all around and a sound investment into your home’s future.
So. what are a few smart energy-efficient home improvements to consider? Check out these home updates to save on your utilities.
1. Seal Up Leaks and Add Insulation
If you have leaks around your home’s floorboards, fireplace, or other areas, it’s worth the effort to add a bead of caulk around the baseboards. If the cold air seems to come from your attic, basement, or even a crawl space, you may also want to add additional insulation to those spaces.
Not only does addressing cracks and leaks keep out air and moisture, but you’ll also reduce the likelihood of unwanted visitors like mice, spiders, and other pests. These critters can get into amazingly small spaces, and even if your home is drafty, they’ll still come in when that cold weather hits.
2. Install Replacement Windows
Did you know that the contractors who build new homes often choose the cheapest window materials? We’ve seen brand new builds in Ozaukee County, Waukesha County, Racine County, and throughout Milwaukee with low-quality windows. Often, buyers need to replace these windows in less than a decade!
Of course, those older homes may also need a window replacement. A quick “damp-hand test” will tell you if you have a leak. Moisten your hand on a cool, windy day, and hold it up around the perimeter of the window—if you feel the breeze, you’re getting air infiltration! Replacement windows can help make your home energy efficient and significantly improve your comfort. You’ll save money on your energy bill and notice a big difference.
3. Replace Your Exterior Entry Doors
Older doors are another area of your home that can lead to heat loss, drafts, and higher energy costs. So whether you’re tired of wrestling with a drafty sliding door by your patio or notice ice accumulating on the INSIDE of your front door, it’s time for an upgrade.
Installing new entry doors is a great way to improve your home’s energy savings while simultaneously increasing your safety and security. Think of a new door as a facelift for your house. It’s the first thing visitors notice, and an update to an energy-efficient door can vastly increase your home’s curb appeal.
4. Consider New Heating & Cooling Equipment
Changes to your home’s furnace and AC can significantly impact your energy bill savings. Once you’ve addressed any air leaks and drafts, a new heating and cooling system can help you get and maintain the optimal temperature year-round. Your furnace and air conditioner use more energy than any other home appliance, so they are a sensible place to invest.
Even a small update to a programmable thermostat will help you save on your energy costs. By adjusting the temperature overnight or while you’re away, you’ll be able to notice a reduction on your monthly bill—especially during the winter!
5. Upgrade Your Other Home Appliances
You’ve updated your windows and doors, taken care of air leaks, and you have an energy-efficient heating and cooling system. Is there anything else you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home? Small changes can still add up to even more savings around your house.
For example, switch out your lightbulbs to energy-efficient bulbs and fixtures. When you need to purchase a new appliance like a fridge or washer, look for one that’s energy efficient or Energy Star certified. Even opting for a shower over a bath can help you save on hot water costs. (Need to convert your bathtub to a shower or combination? Weather Tight can now help!)
Energy-efficient home improvements are a wise investment that can really help you save money and add value to your home in multiple ways. If you’re considering replacing those leaky doors and windows, now is a great time! Contact Weather Tight today, and we can help you assess your home’s most significant areas of concern so you can start saving on your utility bills.
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