Will Energy Efficient Home Upgrades Earn a High ROI?
Homeowners can choose to make an existing home more energy-efficient or to buy a new home with such upgrades. Some of these upgrades also pay a homeowner back when it comes time to list a home, as they will often see the long-term advantages and appreciate lower utility bills along the way. Owners of new and existing homes may want to investigate the following affordable, high-ROI, and energy-efficient upgrades.
Seal and Insulate Common Areas Throughout the Home
Avoid those cracks and gaps in a home, as they offer a convenient avenue for heated or cooled air to escape. An easy way to cut those heating and cooling costs is to seal up these areas, thereby improving a home's envelope. These measures are relatively inexpensive and quickly pay off. Consider projects like:
- Applying weather stripping to older windows and doors
- Adding insulation to the attic floor and visible gaps
- Filling spaces around recessed lighting fixtures, the chimney, pipes, and wiring
These types of projects can be done by a homeowner and help not only to maintain a comfortable temperature, but to reduce the exchange of air outside a home. Such improvements can also lessen the burden on an overworked HVAC system trying to keep the interior temperature at a desired level.
Update Older HVAC Systems
Times have changed, and HVAC systems have become considerably more energy efficient. If an older HVAC is nearing the end of its lifespan, then it is worthwhile for homeowners to replace it with a newer model, rather than keep one that needs repairs and is struggling to operate as desired. Older systems that are being pushed to heat or cool a home lead to higher utility bills and costly repairs. Homeowners are often happily surprised by the efficiency and quietness of their new HVAC system. Additionally, the use of a high-efficiency unit can easily result in 20 percent savings.
Switch to LED Lighting
Small changes don't require a big budget. LED lighting is a high-ROI upgrade that requires less energy from the grid when compared to traditional incandescent options. LEDs make it possible to light a home for almost a quarter of the cost, generally have longer lifespans, and have gone down in cost since they first became available, making them an inexpensive option that doesn't need to be changed often. Such a switch can save a homeowner up to $400 every year.
Use Smart Technology
Smart technology has become increasingly popular, as it allows easy control of energy consumption. By installing a convenient app, one may operate a programmable thermostat, HVAC systems, and turn lights on and off. These days, such technology can even learn a user's behavior and make recommendations as to how to improve the energy efficiency of a home. Those with multiple thermostats in a larger home can see up to $800 in savings annually. It is possible to operate multiple systems conveniently when integrating smart technology throughout a home. Such technology has also proved a sound investment when it comes to home security.
Find Energy-Efficient Upgrade Resources
When energy-efficient products and systems first came out, state and federal tax credits were available for homeowners to recoup some initial costs. Depending on the project, it may a good idea for homeowners to look for credits and rebates on heating and cooling equipment, solar water heaters, energy-efficient appliances, and more. The Department of Energy offers a database of such rebates. This can help reduce initial costs and improve the ROI on an energy-efficient project. The potential ROI on any project may be impacted by changing consumer demand and how soon the home is listed after the upgrade is completed.