Our homes are one of the costliest purchases we make in our lifetime. Not only is the initial cost of the home an issue but the upkeep, energy use and repairs continuously add to the homes cost. It’s been found that about 25% of the average home’s energy bills are wasted on air that escapes through inefficient doors, windows and other small leaks in your home. Replacing these entry points and sealing off leaks can reduce that waste substantially. Proper insulation is a second attempt that can be made towards a more efficient home as well as upgrading household appliances to newer HE models geared towards lower your energy bills.
Front Door Replacement
The most efficient way to begin reducing your house’s energy expenditure is to address possible leaks where cold air can get in and heat can escape in the winter, or vise versa for the summer. With many Americans opening their doors dozens of times a day it’s no surprise that the front door would be a large escape point for our precious heating and cooling. However, most may not realize that their door may also be letting air escape through tiny dents in the frame or edges of the door.
When it comes to picking out the best new front door for your home bear in mind that while solid wooden doors carry a natural beauty- they are the most inefficient at insulation. Steel or fiberglass doors are going to give you the biggest increase in your efficiency. Fiberglass doors can also still provide the beauty of wooden door through good cast and paint jobs. Fiberglass doors have on average, an 82.3% return on investment by providing you that more secure entryway and adding to the value of your home. While a front door replacement may seem like an easy task however we recommend you leaving it to the professionals who can install it properly and be sure that the door has no leaks.
After years of opening and closing, as well as damage from window fans and air conditioners, older wooden and aluminum window frames take a reasonable amount of wear and tear. This leaves more cracks where air can escape. For windows, not only can air escape through these cracks but older single pane windows offer very minimal protection from the outside. You can provide better noise reduction, lower energy costs and increase property value by replacing older windows with either double pane or triple pane windows.
Window Replacements can last 15 to 20 years on average with proper maintenance and offer at least 70% return on investment making this a great home improvement. For a cost-efficient option that requires a low level of upkeep, a vinyl or fiberglass window frame is recommended. Wood frames are also wonderful insulators however they require cleaning, possible wood refinishing and much more that may be too much for busy home owners. Regardless of the choice of materials, window replacements can show immediate results in your homes energy costs.
Insulate your house
Insulating your home can arguably be the most beneficial home improvement when it comes to controlling energy loss. With 35% of energy loss going out your walls and 25% through your attic, adding insulation to these spaces can significantly lower your heating and cooling bills. Not only will your costs go down, but you will also lower your carbon footprint by using less gas in the winter. Insulation comes in a few forms but the most popular are fiberglass batt (rolls) and blown in or loose insulation. Either option offer protection from energy loss as well as fire protection. For a little DIY you can start working on your insulation with the rolls from a local hardware store.
Update to High Efficiency Appliances
Over the decades our advancements in technology have made our lives easier and now they are helping us to use less energy! High efficiency appliances can reduce your energy usage, saving you hundreds a year. Compared to regular washers, high efficiency washers can lessen the wear and tear on clothes, by extracting more water from clothing in the spin cycle to help reduce drying time. They also can use up to 50% less water and 40% less electricity. High efficiency refrigerators can consume 40% less energy, and compared to regular dishwashers, high efficiency dishwashers can use half the water and 40% less electricity. Each appliance you update can help your energy bills however you need to take into consideration the initial cost of the appliance, the operating costs and the maintenance and repair costs. Compare this with the operating cost and maintenance of your current appliances to see your potential savings.
With every improvement we do on our homes can add a new level of beauty and comfort. However, looking towards improvements such as front door replacement , window replacements or home insulation we also have the ability to improve our home’s efficiency and value. Take some time to research these options for your home and see just how much money you could be saving each year.
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