Summer is the perfect time of year to invest in the improvement of your home’s energy efficiency before the cold winter weather hits. While some projects may have a higher cost, they may be eligible for financing with a Mass Save Heat Loan, making this long-term investment in your home possible. Start saving money on your energy bills and make your home comfortable all year round with these home energy-saving projects.
Upgrade Your Windows
The most energy-efficient windows on the market can trap cool air in the summer and hot air in the winter. In contrast, inefficient windows can add up to 25% of your heating bill, making this project a great way to create long-term energy savings for years to come. For those living in colder regions, like New England, interior or exterior storm windows have been reported to reduce heat loss by up to 20% and provide significant protection against extreme weather events. In contrast, homes located in warmer climates where heat gain is a problem should consider ENERGY STAR windows with added shades, shutters, screens, or awnings to provide an extra layer of insulation between your home and outside temperatures.
Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
These days, light bulbs are available at widely varying price points. Still, replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient options remains at a lower cost compared to other home energy improvement projects. Energy-efficient options include halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs), which can all use up to 80% less electricity than traditional bulbs. Replacing the bulbs in your home can still be costly, depending on the number of lighting fixtures in your home, but in the long-term energy-efficient bulbs can last up to 25x longer than traditional bulbs. Advanced options are also available with higher-cost models that come with Smart Home integration (Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, etc.) and a dimmable option for the right amount of light at the right time.
Install A Tankless Water Heater
Water heaters are known to be one of the biggest energy consumers of all your home appliances. However, you can save up to 34% more energy with the right tankless unit rather than a conventional storage unit if you use 41 gallons of water or less daily. If this is more than doubled to 86 gallons daily, you can still save up to 14% more energy. This is because, unlike conventional storage water heaters, they are not continuously working to heat a tank of water. Therefore, hot water will be in endless supply and no longer stored in a tank that eventually runs out. Additionally, a condensing tankless water heater is available for a faster heating process reusing exhaust gas to heat water quicker. Installing a tankless water heater is a long-term investment, with the average lifespan for a tankless water heater being about 20 years vs. 15 years for a traditional model.
Improve Your Home Insulation
Proper home insulation can be crucial in lowering energy bills by retaining heat in the summer and blocking heat out. To tackle the daunting project of re-insulating your home, the attic is the best place to start, including the floor and rafters. The basement, crawl spaces, walls, and floors should also be well insulated for savings of up to 50% on your heating bill. Some factors to consider when choosing the proper insulation are the level of heat resistance or “R-value” and the overall area of your house. This process can be done by gathering essential materials, undergoing the process on your own, or hiring a contractor to assist.
Replace Appliances with Energy Efficient Models
Unfortunately, appliances do not typically last the lifespan of your home and will need to be replaced. While this process can be costly, this is a great time to invest in energy-efficient models that provide long-term savings. When seeking out the most efficient models, there are other factors to consider other than the buying price, such as the annual operating cost and whether the unit is ENERGY STAR certified. Energy-efficient appliances typically have a higher purchase price but an operating cost of up to 25% less than conventional models. These units are labeled ENERGY STAR certified, a federal guarantee that the unit will consume less energy when in use and on standby than standard models.
Interested in increasing your home’s long-term energy efficiency? Start an eligible home energy-saving project with the right amount of funding with a Mass Save Heat Loan at Mechanics Cooperative Bank!