For most, the idea of home energy improvements may seem out of reach. New energy-saving appliances, retrofit windows and major house remodels are expensive, and if you’ve managed to put some money aside, you often can’t decide which upgrade will give you most satisfaction for the price.
These home energy improvements are sure to fit every budget or no budget at all. We’ve even put them in budget order for you, starting with the lowest.
Home Energy Improvements for Every Budget:
Try the Good Old Air
It may seem like we’re teaching you to suck eggs, but it’s very surprising how many people don’t air dry their clothes! Wind is free. If you lack a garden, use indoor drying racks instead of dryers whenever possible. If you give the laundry an extra spin, it’ll reduce the drying time.
When using a dishwasher, turn off the heated drying cycle and leave the dishes to air dry. Not only will you save energy but also keep the kitchen cooler in the summer.
And the main thing to be conscious of is to ensure you don’t run cycles (either washing machine or dishwasher) until it’s full.
Attune the Thermostat
In summer months, you should try to turn off your heating completely. In winter, decrease it by five to ten degrees during the work hours. Or, turn it off and have set it to a timer to come on an hour before you wake up and an hour before you come home. As far as home energy improvements go, this is one of the most effective no-cost strategies that also keeps the utility costs at bay.
Rather than cranking the thermostat up and down, you can buy one that is programmable, so you don’t have to worry about remembering. A smart thermostat can even learn your preferences and adjust accordingly.
Get Smart with Lighting
The amount of money you can save on lighting largely depends on what type of light bulbs you are using. Incandescent (hot wire) and halogen bulbs are the least energy-effective, as their heat-light ratio is about 90 to 10. In other words, most of their energy is wasted on inefficient heating.
If you have a busy schedule and often forget to turn off the lights (don’t we all), Energy Star qualified CFL or LED light bulbs are the right thing for you. Their colour, quality, and performance have improved so much recently, while their price has dropped (yippee!) However, the best thing about LED bulbs is that they can be paired with motion sensors and smart home systems. You can also switch them on and off without compromising their 20-year life expectancy.
Compact fluorescent bulbs are a tad cheaper, but turning them on and off every time won’t extend their life expectancy.
Of course, there are tonnes of different types of lighting to explore beyond bulbs.
Consider Ceiling Fans
Before air conditioning was available, ceiling fans were the go-to cooling appliance. However, when coupled with an AC, a single ceiling fan can enhance the cool air circulation in your home.
And it doesn’t just end there, but by reversing the spin, you can also improve the warm air circulation when the heating is on.
Insulate the Attic
Heat escapes upwards, it’s a fact. Therefore, the roof is the heat’s main escape route. Home energy improvements like this won’t just make your house more energy-efficient, but could also create an additional room – this then translates to an increased resale value.
If possible, use spray foam insulation; it’s more expensive than fibreglass batts but far more effective (so the expense will be compensated by saving more money in the long run).
Replace the Windows
It is one of the most expensive home energy improvements but has the largest pay-back in terms of saving energy and big bucks on your bill.
Replacing windows to save energy isn’t as straightforward as a buying new ones. Look for appropriate energy-saving ratings for your area and explore the most cost-effective options. As replacing all the windows in no laughing matter money-wise. Here you’ll find some current examples of affordable home energy improvements and the financing options.
As with attic insulation, this upgrade will boost your home’s value – quids in.
Energy saving starts with simple steps that are completely free. Just being conscious of what you’re using is the place to start.
Once you manage to change your everyday habits and routines, that’s when you should start thinking about the costlier upgrades. However, despite the higher price, return on investment will be higher also. They often increase your home’s value, and you’ll save more money on energy bills for a longer time.