Top 10 Home Energy Upgrades
Your energy expenses probably take up a huge chunk of your monthly budget. Fortunately, there are different steps and various options you can take to considerably reduce your energy costs and diminish your carbon footprint at the same time. If you’re considering upgrading your home to be more energy efficient, the following green technologies bear looking into.
These are the top 10 home energy upgrades we recommend:
Energy Monitor – With this device that you clip onto the power cable coming in to your home, you can see a minute-by-minute presentation of your energy use, allowing you to be more effective in decreasing your energy consumption and bill.
Smart Thermostat – With a programmable thermostat, you can save more than 10 percent on your heating/cooling bills. At an initial cost of about $250 and more than $10 savings per month, based on surveys conducted by different smart thermostat brands, you can recoup that initial expense in roughly two years.
Energy Star HVAC Equipment – If your heater and AC don’t bear the Energy Star seal, you’re paying about 30 percent more to use and maintain them. An Energy Star HVAC system would cost about $4,000 to install and you can recoup this in about seven years.
Energy Star Appliances – Don’t stop with your heating and cooling system; work toward having all of your appliances Energy Star-labeled.
Smart Power Strips – This is a nifty device that will cut off power supply to fully charged or not-in-use items. It costs about $30 each.
Insulation Replacement – According to EPA estimates, a poorly insulated household pays an extra $200 a year due to energy loss. It costs about $2,500-$5,000 to get the pros to come and insulate your home.
Double Pane Windows – If you can afford it, invest in double pane windows, which would cost about $600 per window. This will save you about $500 a year, so the length of time you can break even with the cost varies based on the number of windows you have. There are cheaper ways to make your windows energy-efficient, though. For instance, you can simply choose to insulate your current windows.
Energy Efficient Doors – The principle is the same here, particularly if you have hollow metal doors. Replace with wood or insulate them. Sealing doors and windows can also be a big help sealing the home.
Solar – Using solar panels for your home’s energy source is one of the best ways to lower both your carbon footprint and your power bill. The installation cost is quite hefty, valuing at about $30,000, but green energy tax credits, incentives, and rebates will cut this down to just about $18,000. You should break even with the initial expense in six to 10 years.
Solar Water Heater – If you’re not quite up to the expense of a solar array, you can still take advantage of solar energy with your water heater. A solar water heater costs about $2,000-$5,000 and it will pay for itself after about two years.
It’s understandable if you won’t be able to carry out all top 10 home energy upgrades, but it’s good to have an idea of what to aspire to. Look into your local utiltiy company rebates and city approved programs like Hero and California First that finance some of these energy efficient upgrades without a credit check.