The Top Energy Efficient Upgrades to Make
Whether you live in a historic home or one with newer construction, most homeowners want to make their homes more energy efficient. However, with everything from windows to appliances advertising their potential energy savings, it can be difficult to decide which upgrades to make for your home.
The following are the top three energy efficient upgrades you can make to your home. These upgrades will maximize your energy savings and help make your home a more efficient place to live.
- Add insulation
Adding insulation is one of the most cost effective ways to help make your home more energy efficient. Unlike other efficiency upgrades, good insulation will often have an immediate return on investment. One area that is often under-insulated in homes is the attic floor. To avoid losing heat as it rises, this area should have at least 10 inches of insulation. Likewise, installing new insulation throughout the house can be more easily done if you are repainting or residing the exterior of your home.
- Install a new HVAC system
If your air conditioning unit is more than 10 years old, or your boiler or heating system is more than 20 years old, it is most likely considered inefficient by today’s standards. By replacing your existing unit with a newer, moderately priced model, you can expect to see energy savings of 10-20 percent. Savings can be further increased by investing in a more expensive unit, downsizing the capacity of your system, or switching fuel sources such as oil to natural gas.
- Replace your existing roof with metal
An aluminum metal roof will not only give your home a unique look, but is also an extremely energy efficient upgrade that will last for years to come. Metal roofs often last much longer than their wood or tile counterparts, reducing upkeep, maintenance, and replacement costs. Aluminum roofs are also highly reflective, creating substantial energy savings during the hot months of summer. Energy Star rated aluminum roofs can save as much as 30% on cooling costs during the summer. Likewise, aluminum roofing is made of a high percentage of recycled metal, making it a sustainable, green building material.
While these three upgrades will make most homes more energy efficient, before making any upgrades to your home you should consider having a professional energy audit. An energy audit will show you how and where your home is losing energy, helping you to pinpoint the exact areas where repairs or upgrades should be made.