There are plenty of reasons why you might want to make some energy-efficient changes to your home, but here are the main three:
• When you do sell your home, it will command a higher price
• Utility bills will be lowered
• You’re helping the environment
As positive as those aspects are, it is essential that homeowners deciding on green remodeling consider the length of time needed before they will enjoy the money-saving properties offered. As an example, it could take years for a new solar power system or window replacement to pay for itself.
Start at the Top
When most people think to remodel, bathrooms and kitchens come to mind. But in the interest of green home improvement, the project that offers the most significant return on investment rises high above kitchens and bathrooms. Attic insulation, in a cost versus value analysis, came in as the green project that provides the biggest and best return on money spent. Best of all, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to embark on this endeavor.
From Indoors to Outdoors
Another good return on investment is offered by switching out that tired old garage door. A new garage door is a real upscale renovation and, when examining the cost of the project, assures a return of approximately 85%. Besides, houses without electric garage door openers don’t sell as fast as houses with new, state-of-the-art garage doors. It’s a fact.
On the topic of doors, don’t stop at the garage. A new front door will not only dress up your home but, if you buy and install the right type of front door, can offer added energy efficiency. The approximate rate of return on front doors is as follows:
• Fiberglass – 78%
• Steel entry door – 91%
There are dual benefits to upgrading kitchen appliances to the newer, high-efficiency models. (This also applies to furnaces and water heaters.) In addition to reducing a homeowner’s living costs, they make an old, humdrum kitchen sparkle and shine like new. To help offset the cost of new appliances, many cities and states offer programs such as tax incentives. Don’t forget, while on the topic of energy-saving upgrades, to have a water saving faucet and dishwasher installed.
Remodeling the Bathroom
A renovated bathroom gives a return on investment of just over 93%. That said, bathroom remodeling will involve spending some pretty serious cash – but be well worth it in the end. If possible, expand the bathroom itself. After expansion, add new energy efficient lighting, and water saving faucets, shower head, bath fixtures, and toilet. A his-and-hers vanity set up will increase the value while not significantly affecting the energy saving aspect of your bathroom remodel. For flooring, choose something that lasts a long time, has a luxurious appearance, and is impervious moisture.
Regardless of which energy-efficient changes you decide to make to your home, remember these crucial considerations concerning those changes:
• What kind of resale impact will they have on your home?
• Check to see about rebates for specific improvements
• Decide which changes are most accessible, and do those first
Today’s informed homeowner, before deciding upon which green home plan improvements to make, may choose to have a home energy audit. This way, an expert can determine the efficiency of your heating system, air conditioning system, and appliances; as well as discover precisely how much air is leaking from your home.