When it comes to home improvements that can make your property look good both from inside and outside, think “green.” Energy efficient upgrades not only help to reduce utility costs and improve the comfort level of your home, but also make your house more appealing to potential buyers. It’s a well-known fact that today’s conscious buyers are willing to shell out much more for homes that are eco-friendly. Return on investment (ROI) on certain types of energy efficient upgrades such as replacing older doors and replacement windows tends to be high, making it possible for owners to recoup much of the initial cost when they plan to sell. Here are some upgrades that are the greenest and will surely yield a high ROI.
Energy Efficient Upgrades that Will Yield a High ROI
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Seal and Insulate the Perimeter of your Home
Little cracks and gaps can drastically increase your heating and cooling costs. That’s why it’s very important to weather strip the doors and windows, and fill any penetrations in the attic floor such as around chimneys, wiring, pipes, and recessed light fixtures in the ceiling below. Moreover, since heat rises above, it’s essential to insulate the attic floor. Doing so can keep your home comfortable all year round and, of course, yield a better ROI.
Replace Old Windows and Doors
A home loses tremendous amount of air through poorly sealed windows and doors. As older units are usually less energy efficient than newer ones, upgrading them to more air-tight models can result in significant savings on your cooling and heating costs. Moreover, replacing them is one of the home improvement projects that delivers an assuredly high ROI at the time of resale. New vinyl or wooden windows can recoup the cost drastically at the time of resale.
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Seal the Air Ventilation Ducts
The ducts in most homes leak so much of their cooled and heated air into the basements, the attic, or the crawlspace that sealing and insulating them can slash your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning costs (HVAC) to a great extent. However, as this job is not as simple as applying duct tape to the joints, consider hiring a professional for this time-consuming and messy job. Despite its name, duct tape does not last very long on the ducts, so it requires special tape and mastic.
Switch to a Solar Water Heater
Installing solar power for heating water can be a huge money and energy saver. It is estimated that a typical system uses 50-80 percent less energy than traditional heating systems. Such a reduction can help a household trim its yearly energy costs by 10-15 percent. While the initial cost of switching to a solar powered system is usually higher than the traditional water heater, you can be sure to recoup the cost while selling. What’s more? Homeowners can qualify for a federal tax credit of up to 30 percent of the cost when installing a residential solar water heater.
Skylights Can Save on Lighting Bills
Beyond just providing a dark room with natural light, skylights are a wonderful green addition, as they help to keep your interiors illuminated, and the electrical light sources switched off. In fact, the more sophisticated kind can even open up—either manually or by remote control—to let in the fresh air, thus lowering your cooling costs. You might be surprised to see how much strategically placed skylights can balance the light in any room in such a mood-enhancing way.
Image via: Velux USA
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Another way to cut energy costs is by replacing your old mechanical thermostat with a programmable one. By keeping your house comfortable while you are at home and awake, and then lowering the temperature during winter and raising it during hot weather when you are away or asleep, you can save up to 10-15 percent on your utility bills. The best part is you can even monitor and control the cooling and heating of your home using your Smartphone. So, no matter where you are, a programmable thermostat will let you maximize your energy efficiency.
Smart homes are no longer a dream. From lighting that you can control with an app, to thermostats that can adjust to your lifestyle, there are plenty of clever technologies available to make your home energy efficient, secure, and appealing to buyers. Use these six suggestions above to transform your home into a smart, sustainable property that guarantees to yield high ROI. Do you know of more energy efficient projects that offer higher return on investment? We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to save energy in our homes.
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