04 Apr Home Improvement: Money in Your Pocket Through Energy Efficiency
As today’s housing market snaps back, consumers are buying or renovating homes with hopes of getting the most out of their home improvement dollar. Here are some things you can do at home to stretch that dollar – and even make you money
Upgrades and Replacements
Regular maintenance, minor upgrades and energy efficient replacements are great ways to stretch your dollar over the lifetime of your home. Upgrades that could save you money include:
1.Installing a Programmable Thermostat
Replace your manual thermostat with an electronic, programmable model. You could probably do this yourself; it isn’t complicated, and instructions are usually clear. This small investment will allow you to take control of A/C timing and cooling costs. Smart programming will generate a more gradual decline and rise in household temperature and cool off living space only when needed. Saving about 20 percent on your utility bill will quickly allow you to recoup the expense of the unit; average cost is $50-75.
2.Maximizing Energy Efficiency of Windows and Doors
Your windows and doors make up about 60 percent of your home’s exterior wall space. Old, inefficient or improperly installed windows and doors allow expensive cool air to escape and warm outside air to seep in. Check openings; caulk around windows and apply new weather stripping at door entryways. If your home’s windows have seen better days, consider upgrading with energy efficient replacement windows with hi-tech insulation applications like Low-E coatings, inert gas insulation and multiple glazing. Also look for Energy Star and other key ratings like low solar heat gain or air leakage, and high visible transmittance values which can assist in blocking out 40-70 percent of the heat that is normally transmitted through clear glass, while allowing the full amount of light to pass through. Vinyl windows and doors are a good choice; not only do they have aesthetic appeal, they usually last longer and withstand weather elements with grace. Similarly, your garage door, if old or improperly installed, may be costing you valuable energy losses.
3.Have a Wind Mitigation Inspection
In 2003, the state of Florida developed a proposal acknowledging that better built houses are less likely to be damaged by wind, so homeowners should therefore pay less for insurance. The wind mitigation inspection was the result. Now the state requires that if a homeowner provides their insurance company with a wind mitigation inspection report showing that their home meets certain wind uplift requirements, they have to charge that homeowner less for their insurance. The better your house is built to withstand wind damage, the more discounts you will qualify for each year. If your roof was completed after March 2002 under revised building code guidelines, it will automatically meet some of the requirements to get the discounted rates. A properly certified wind mitigation inspector will charge about $125 to perform this hour-long inspection which could lead to annual savings of hundreds of dollars for the next five years.
4.Receive Utility Rebates
Energy-efficiency is one of the key investments that can help you gain a return on your energy bill and on the value of your home. Your utility companies are likely offering rebate programs as homeowner incentives to conserve energy. From cash rebates to power bill credits, you could save hundreds of dollars on existing or newly installed energy-savers such as A/C systems, insulation, energy efficient roofing materials and solar water heating systems. For instance, Florida Power pays up to $154 for duct system repair and $325 for reflective roofing materials. And Duke Energy, offers up to $300 for applying spray foam insulation. That’s money in your pocket!
Schedule a free inspection to see how Universal Roof can help.
Schedule a Free Inspection
So make sure you are going through your home to look for ways to save money. Whether it be roof replacement, new insulation, repair, or a different home improvement project, ways to save are right in front of you. To see how we can help you with your Roof or Roof Inspection, Schedule a free inspection to see how Universal Roof can help.