Owning a home can be costly, and any homeowner would be happy to save a few dollars anywhere we can. Buying or building a home that is energy-efficient can not only lower your bills but also increase the value of your home. Just how much your home will increase in value depends on a number of factors, like where you live, what upgrades you’ve made and how your home is marketed at sale time.
Homebuyers are realizing the benefits of energy-efficient homes, in fact they are often willing to pay more upfront with the understanding that these upgrades will save them money over the long haul.
There are things you can do to make your home more energy-efficient. Many of these tips are simple and require nothing but mindfulness on your part. Others require an initial upfront cost but are guaranteed savers in the long run.
Install a tankless water heater, also called an on-demand system. These units eliminate standby losses from the tank and minimizing losses from hot water piping, and may be able to cut your water heating energy costs by 10-15%.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are 75% more energy-efficient, last 10 times longer and produce 75% less heat than standard bulbs. In addition, these advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time that lights are on but not being used.
Replacing old appliances is a smart investment. Larger appliances such as washers, dryers, dishwashers, stoves and refrigerators are the most serious offenders when it comes to wasting energy. The use of efficient ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and electronics can save you up to 30% on your energy bills.
What better way to reduce your annual energy cost than to use landscaping? If you don’t have many trees around your home, consider having a professional come assess your property and advise on the positioning of trees around your home that can actually increase your heating and cooling costs by up to 25 percent.
Having your attic air-sealed and insulated with fiberglass can save you $200 a year in heating and cooling costs according to Energy Star.
Heating and cooling systems account for about 43% of your energy bill, according to the DOE. Energy Star estimates you can save 30% on cooling costs by replacing your central air conditioning unit if it’s more than 12 years old.
Consider replacing windows, doors and skylights with Energy Star certified products. These changes could save you up to 15%.
When it comes time to buy or sell, keep your eye on energy efficiency homes. If selling be sure your real estate agent is helping you market your home as such and when buying, be on the lookout for existing energy-saving upgrades.
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