For most people a home is the investment of a lifetime. Whether owners remain in the same home for decades, or sell the first one to move into a larger one, improvements made to cut energy costs will always offer a high return on the investment. Those who stay in the home will enjoy cost savings well into the future. People selling their homes will reap the benefits in increased property values.Exterior Improvements
Window replacement is a major project, but one that pays off quite well. Windows being manufactured today have more than twice the efficiency as windows produced just seven years ago. Owners often experience a full return in one to three years due to a substantial reduction in utility costs all year around.
Adding siding to a house will also cut energy costs. Most materials are insulated and more layers of insulation can be placed between the surface of the house and the siding being installed. Solar panels added to the roof will definitely control energy costs.Interior Improvements
Insulating the attic and walls is a wise investment. Over time old insulation can deteriorate and allow drafts and moisture to enter the house. Rolled insulation can be added, or insulation can be installed via a high pressure hose. Professionals can advise homeowners of which type will best suit the construction and layout of the house.
Padding and carpeting in some of the rooms will keep drafts from coming up from the floors, and keep heat in during colder weather. Selecting energy-efficient appliances when older ones need replacing will save on electricity and water. Opening up a space in the chimney to add a fireplace will contribute to lower utility costs as well. A free standing wood or gas fireplace
can be added if owners do not want to build a traditional stone or brick encasement for fires.Minor Improvements that Make a Difference
If major improvements are not currently in the budget, there are a few simple and inexpensive improvements that can reduce costs until money is saved or financing is acquired. Insulated curtains will make a difference in every season. During the winter the effects of drafts are minimized
and heat in kept inside the house. In the summer heat and sunlight are kept outside, allowing air conditioning units to operate at lower temperatures but still cool the house.
Caulking any spaces around pipes and window sills will better protect the interior from the elements. Weather stripping around windows and doors will also make some difference in the consumption of fuel oil and electricity.