Three Affordable Improvements to Make Your Home More Efficient

By: Paul Denikin
Posted on:09/06/2016 Updated:09/08/2016

While this blog usually focuses on the sustainability of private working lands, DIY dad Paul Denikin reminds us that the path to sustainability can begin with relatively simple projects around the home.

Home improvement projects can add up quickly and put an alarming dent in your wallet. However, when your project’s goal is to improve your home’s energy efficiency, you can rest assured that the project will eventually pay for itself.

Energy efficiency can be controlled to an extent without home improvements but, if you want your home running as efficiently as possible, there are some projects you should consider tackling. Here are a few affordable home improvements to get you started.

Replace Inefficient Doors and Windows

An inefficient door or window is one that allows excessive air into the home. As outside air enters, the home’s AC or heater must work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This is where much of your energy is being wasted.

To fix this issue, you will want to buy energy efficient windows, preferably with wood frames, and solid doors. Hollow doors are very detrimental to home insulation. If you already have efficient doors and windows, consider resealing these spaces to repair any cracks. A crack in a window seal can just as easily cause your energy bills to spike.

Install Solar Panels

A small solar panel does not have to break the bank. These panels can cost as little as $100 or even less if you opt to make one yourself. Even if you are only able to power a few small devices, you are saving yourself money and reducing your energy consumption. Furthermore, solar panels can get you tax breaks, adding to the benefits.

For larger setups, you will likely need them installed by a professional. While this up-front cost can make solar panels seem unreasonable, remember how much money they will be able to save you after a single payment. If you can afford the startup, installing solar panels will certainly be worth your while.

Upgrade Toilets to Low Flow

Low-flow toilets are fairly inexpensive and easy to install. The traditional toilet is the number one cause of water waste in the U.S. yet remains an easy fix. Low-flow toilets will cut your water bills significantly while limiting your impact on the environment. If you’re looking to limit water waste in other parts of your home, you will also want to consider installing low-flow showerheads and aerators in the faucets.

Ideally, you should also replace your dishwasher and washing machine in order to truly minimize your water usage but replacing appliances is not an inexpensive endeavor. Stick with the number one problem in your home - toilets - and move on from there.

There are many other things you can do to limit your energy usage and cut your living expenses. Some of these things might be lifestyle changes, minor repairs, or even replacing parts of your home entirely. Every little effort helps, even if you cannot transform your house into an efficient machine overnight. Start with the affordable repairs and improvements then move at your own pace with your budget in mind. No matter how much or how little you can do, you are making a positive impact.

Image via Pixabay by gugue