Forking over your hard-earned money to pay expensive utility bills isn’t fun, especially when there’s a way to improve your home’s performance and cut costs. Investing in energy-efficient solutions may seem costly too, but it’ll save you loads of money in the long run. Here are five ways to make your home as energy-efficient as possible, so your utility bill doesn’t break the bank.
Insulate Your Walls and Attic
Effective insulation doesn’t keep heat from leaving your house in the winter or entering your house in the summer, but it does the slow the rate at which it happens. By doing so, your home uses less energy to heat or cool itself.
If you don’t have wall insulation already in your home, consider getting blown-in insulation. Although it rarely pays off to blow more insulation into already insulated walls, it does help to get this done if you don’t have any to begin with. Also, if your attic isn’t finished, use this same method to insulate it.
Upgrade Your Windows
It’s not cost-effective to replace your working windows only to save energy, but if they’re old and leaky it’s time invest and install some new ones. Replacing windows saves about 7 to 24 percent on your air conditioning and heating bills, depending on if you have energy-efficient models, weather-stripping, or storm windows. When shopping for windows, talk to a specialist who will help you pick the right ones for your home.
Plant Shade Trees Around Your House
If you have an older house that has poor insulation, you’ll greatly benefit from planting some shade trees around your house in strategic locations. Good landscaping can save you a lot of energy and money, so take some time to plant trees on the west side of your home. In the summer, the foliage blocks warmth from entering your home, while in the winter the bare branches let it come through.
Much like trees help to block the warmth of the sun or let it through, blinds do the same but in a more controllable way. Roller shades are easy to use and do a great job of blocking out the summer sun’s warmth from heating your house simultaneously while the air conditioner is running. Conversely, if you want to allow some light to seep through, you can open the blinds and adjust how much light they let in.
Schedule an Energy Audit
The most proactive thing you can do if you want to conserve energy and keep your wallet filled is to schedule an energy audit with a professional. Energy auditors use specialized tools to evaluate your home’s performance and recommend the most cost-effective strategies in improving its efficiency. An energy rater can also provide verification of contractors’ work quality, so that you know you’re dollar isn’t being wasted. Just make sure that these professionals are RESNET Accredited.
Conserving energy isn’t only good for the environment; it’s great for your bank account, too. Follow these tips to help keep as much of your money from being spent on utility bills.
Sam Bagons is a financial writer. He mainly writes on various market related issues like debt, credit, bankruptcy, etc. So that people can read it and help themselves in getting out of this mess.