Whether you make home improvements to an existing property or move into a house already equipped with these features, energy-efficient improvements add value in two ways. In the short term, less power and water usage decrease your utility bill. In particular, appliances may have a notable impact. Long-term, because energy-efficient features are in demand, your resale price may increase by as much as six percent.
Whether you’re looking for a new home or want to make upgrades yourself, where should you start?
Energy-efficient lightbulbs, a good starting point for many homeowners, can cut utility costs in two ways. Firstly, they use significantly less energy than traditional 100-watt incandescent bulbs. Secondly, rather than having to change them out every couple of months, a single bulb lasts for many years. With time, switching from standard bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs reduces energy costs a few hundred dollars per year.
Did you know your appliances are responsible for 15 percent of your home’s energy usage? Although impact varies based on the type of appliance you install, reduced water and energy consumption eventually show up on your utility bill and further reduce your carbon footprint. As a tip when you shop around, look for ENERGY-STAR appliances with kilowatt-hour usage lower than your current fixtures.
Among all energy-efficient improvements, windows can be the most contentious. You may pay $8,000 to $24,000 for a set, and likely will not recoup the costs until you sell the home. However, those replacements may reduce your energy bill up to 15 percent in the meantime.
What makes energy-efficient windows different from your old set? Although you can caulk corners and crevices, nothing quite beats a low-E coating, designed to reduce the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light. When it comes to keeping your home warm, this ultra-thin coating reflects a large portion of long-wave solar infrared energy and a portion of short-wave solar infrared energy. In colder months, whenever heat tries to pass through the glass, the low-E coating reflects it back inside. In summer, the glass acts in reverse to keep your home cooler, without greater reliance on your cooling system.
More and more homeowners opt to power their properties with solar energy – at least partially. But, like windows, they come with a high price tag. On average, $12,500 for a roof-mounted set. Yet, the energy savings more than pay for that initial investment over a two-decade period. According to EnergySage, you could see energy savings anywhere from $18,000 to as much as $40,000, depending on where you live.
Tankless Water Heaters
If your home is equipped with a traditional storage water heater, you could be losing money. This type of water heater uses additional energy to store hot water for later use. On the other hand, tankless water heaters only heat water when it is needed. Tankless water heaters are becoming the popular choice for replacement because they cut water heating expenses. According to ENERGY STAR®, a typical family can save $100 or more per year!
Updated Heating and Cooling
If your furnace or air conditioning system is over a decade old, updating the unit with an energy-efficient model can help cut costs. Homeowners in the market for a new heating or cooling system should look for models with a good energy-efficiency rating. ENERGY STAR® certified units fall into this category because they consume less energy to work more efficiently.
In tangent with upgrading your older systems, installing a programmable thermostat also gives homeowners more control over when the unit is in use. Change the temperature remotely for better energy-efficiency when away from home!
For homes already equipped with energy-efficient features, why not consider one of By Carrier’s communities? To learn about our custom homes, give us a call today.