Winter is finally here, which means it’s time to break out the bulky sweaters, long coats, and snow boots to keep warm while you’re outside. But what about keeping warm while you’re inside? That’s where it gets a bit trickier, and energy efficient home improvements make a difference.
It’s estimated that people will spend an average of $500 to just above $1,200 to heat their homes this winter — which the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) defines as October through March. With a large chunk of us still working from home or homeschooling due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, energy use and consumption are expected to go up, which means higher heating costs. There’s still good news, though!
Instead of preparing to shell out a lot more money on your energy and heating bills, you can take steps now to reduce costs and make your home more energy-efficient. In addition to saving money, you can also reap extra benefits like tax rebates, better air quality, and enhanced comfort. Read on to learn our tips for energy-efficient home improvements in Colorado.
10+ Energy-Efficient Home Improvements
Making your energy efficient home improvements doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. By making smaller, more simple upgrades, you can still make a big impact. Upgrades like:
- Checking and changing air filters
- Changing the direction of your ceiling fans in the winter and summer (this could save up to 15% of heating costs!)
- Upgrade to LED lightbulbs (and smart lighting)
- Sealing gaps in doors, windows, and floors
- Installing weather stripping
- Installing Water Sense showerheads
- Switching to Energy Star-rated appliances
- Getting an energy audit
Upgrade to storm windows
Installing storm windows is an investment up-front, but one that can save you a lot of money (and energy!) in the long run. That’s because they’re coated with a super thin layer of metal that reflects infrared heat back into your home. According to the US Department of Energy, low-emissivity storm windows can save you anywhere from 12% to 33% on your heating costs, which adds up to a few hundred dollars a year!
Get a smart thermostat
Smart technology is integrated into virtually everything we do these days, so why not use it to heat and cool your home, too? With a smart thermostat, you can program it to increase or decrease the temperature during set hours for the day. By doing this, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling costs.
When you’re home — and a lot of us will be more because of COVID-19 — it is possible to stay warm and keep the thermostat down. Bundle up in sweatshirts and thick socks, and invest in a space heater for rooms you use most.
Insulating your home is on the more costly end of making your home more energy-efficient. But consider this: The EPA estimates that 9 out of 10 homes are under-insulated. That’s 90% of all homes that heat escapes through the walls, the roof, and floorboards.
A well-insulated home has tons of benefits in addition to a 15% average savings on heating and cooling costs. Benefits like:
- More humidity control
- More outside noise control
- Reduced pests, pollen, and dust
- Lessened risk of ice dams
- A more comfortable home year-round!
Another perk? There are a lot of options when it comes to insulating your home — even DIY ones — to keep it effective and budget-friendly.
Don’t forget the outside
Exterior upgrades are just as important (and effective) as ones on the inside. While they may be more of an investment, the payoff can become substantial over time. Consider upgrades like:
- Solar panels
- Solar water heaters
- Cool roofs
- Advanced house framing
- Green roofing
Any time you make additional home upgrades, be sure to use materials like reclaimed wood, bamboo, cork, or recycled steel. With significant updates like these, you can also aim to get your home LEED certified.
Keep warm this winter with energy-efficient home improvements by Factor Design Build
Making your home more energy-efficient is great for your wallet — but even greater for the environment. And while there are a lot of ways to do it yourself, Factor Design Build is always here to help. Our team of experienced carpenters can help ensure your heat stays put this winter to save you money and energy.
Want to talk about how Factor Design Build can help you stay warm this winter? Get ahold of us today!