7 Home Improvements That Conserve Utility Costs
Did you know that the average resident in Granbury, Texas, spends almost half of their utility bills on heating and cooling? Making smart choices about how you expend your household’s energy can go a long way toward helping your family save money. Here are just a few home improvements that can help you conserve utility costs:
Replace Outdated Windows
If your home’s windows are more than 15 years old, consider swapping them for new ones. Modern windows are more energy-efficient than those made over a decade ago, and they can make a noticeable impact on your energy bills.
The only downside is that new windows are a costly investment, especially when replacing all of them at once. Even so, window replacements can greatly increase the value of your home. That’s an added bonus if you plan to sell within the next few years.
New light fixtures can reduce your overall lighting costs. You’ve probably heard that switching to LED bulbs can help save energy over traditional CFL bulbs. But there are other steps you can take to light your home in a more efficient manner.
For starters, consider how you can utilize natural light. For instance, installing a skylight can illuminate a dark bathroom without using any energy. Adding extra windows, or even bigger windows, may even increase your home’s value.
Invest in a Cool Roof
There are several types of “cool roof” systems available that help deflect the sun and keep your home cool during the summer. Cool-roof coatings are special paint-like reflective pigments that protect your existing roof and offer additional water protection. You can make just about any roof a cool roof by substituting materials or using reflective paints.
Install a Smart Thermostat
One of the simplest upgrades you can make in your home is to install a smart thermostat. Even if you’ve used a programmable thermostat in the past, a smart thermostat goes a step further by learning your family’s energy habits and making adjustments accordingly.
Smart thermostats also provide data on your home’s energy use so that you can see where you can make changes. Best of all, you can access your home’s thermostat via your smartphone. This feature comes in handy when you’re on vacation or at work and need to make adjustments.
Are you still using outdated appliances? Then it’s time for an upgrade.
Refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and other appliances draw a lot of energy, especially those that run 24/7. While looking at a new appliance’s Energy Star rating is a good first step, focus instead on the kilowatt-hour usage and how it compares to your existing appliance.
Upgrading to a more efficient appliance can save you hundreds over the course of a year. That means that new dryer can pay for itself in no time.
Consider Solar Energy
Solar technology has come a long way in recent years, with more homeowners opting for solar panels to help supplement their existing utilities. Unfortunately, solar panels and solar installation still cost a pretty penny. The payoff time depends on where you live and how much you’ll save. Still, solar panels are a great investment to make when you want a reliable source of energy that reduces your reliance on local utility companies.
Upgrade to a New HVAC System
HVAC systems aren’t designed to last forever. If your system is more than 12 years old, you could save about 30 percent on cooling costs by upgrading to a newer unit. On the bright side, annual HVAC maintenance can prolong a system’s lifespan and keep it working efficiently. So if you’ve kept up with your preventative maintenance plan, you probably won’t need to upgrade for a while.
When you’re ready to invest in new HVAC equipment, ask your HVAC technician for recommendations and any add-ons that can maximize your home’s energy efficiency. Don’t neglect your HVAC equipment when considering ways to conserve energy. Call Airmasters AC, Heat, Plumbing & Electrical at 817-506-4862 to schedule an AC maintenance appointment today.
Image provided by Shutterstock
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