It should worth the investment making our house more efficient. It should also be considered as our contribution for the environment and it is possible to save a lot of money this way. Many people rack up thousands of dollars each year on utility bills due to inefficient usage of resources. It may not be necessary to do a lot of things in one big swoop, but we can certainly make small improvements here and there.
We should do a number of upgrades and perhaps some remodelling to make these changes permanent. If we do things properly, we will see that these costs will be recouped very fast. After all, many things we do to make our home more efficient shouldn’t cost too much money. This is especially true if we know contractors who are able to do things efficiently.
As an example, we can add weather stripping to windows and doors. This would cost us less than $50, but the annual cooling and heating costs could be a few hundred dollars lower. We should also install windows films on windows that face westwards or eastwards; doing this will cost us less than $100, but the overall savings could be three or four times more than that. In addition, intense sunlight could fade our furniture and carpet; so reducing incoming light could bring multiple benefits. These simple investments could be paid off in just a few months.
Instead of using incandescent light bulbs, it is a good idea to use compact fluorescent bulbs. This will help us save on electricity and the bulbs themselves would last much longer. Some storm windows and door models can also help us save on both heating and cooling costs. If our budget is tight, we can make our own storm windows. These windows should be easy to build.
We only need to get some heavy plastic, a few nails and a good amount of thick lumber. Many of us often replace appliances and it is a good idea to choose options and models with low power usages. If we plan to replace the cooling/heating system, attic fan and water heater; it is also important to choose more energy-efficient replacements.
It is a good idea to replace our water heater with either solar water heater or instant water heater. Solar-powered fans are also much more efficient than standard electric fans. Cooling and heating equipments can also be replaced with heat pumps. If we plan to save more money, it is a good to choose timers with programmable zoned system. This allows us to set different temperature ranges in different parts of our house based on unique requirements.
After a few years, we need to replace a toilet. To save water usage, it is a good idea to choose dual flush toilet. When replacing the roof, we should choose metal roof, which is very efficient and much less expensive. To prevent heat loss during winter, we can also install attic foil.
All of these are wonderful ways to help us improve the environment, while reducing utility costs. However, we shouldn’t ignore further cost reduction opportunities, by getting tax breaks and rebates. Utility companies may offer rebates for customers who plan to install energy efficient lights and appliances. In this case, we only need to call the utility company and ask for immediate replacements. Obviously, we need to make sure that we are fully qualified to receive the rebates themselves.
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