This week we teamed up with Matt Lee from Innovative Building Materials to bring you some energy saving tips that you might not know about!
If you are planning on remodeling your home, there are more ways to save money than just hiring your cousin Bobby instead of an insured contractor (which we don’t recommend!). You can use energy saving techniques and upgrades that will save you a significant amount of money on your energy bill.
Often, when we tell someone that updating your soffits can save you money on your electric bill, they ask “what is a soffit?” To clear the air, the soffit on your home is the finish on the underside of your roof that extends past the walls of your home.
The soffit on your home provides important ventilation to your attic, and can prevent your roof from getting superheated, which can quickly break down asphalt shingles and create ice dams in the winter, which may lead to water leaks.
Appliances can be energy hungry, accounting for a large part of your energy bill. If you are choosing new appliances, it’s critical to replace your old large appliances with energy star appliances, and enjoy a tax break and lower energy bills!
If you live in an extremely hot climate, or somewhere with excessively cold winters, replacing the windows in your home may be worth it. You will add resale value to your home, and reduce your energy bill by upwards of 15% per month!
If you live in a temperate climate, replacing the home windows will probably not save you money, so do your homework to see if the cost of replacing your windows is more than the value you will add to your home and the money you will save on your energy bill.
Installing a smart thermostat makes your heating and cooling system more efficient by allowing you to program the temperature to change based on who is home, or if you are asleep, automatically.
If you are considering a roof upgrade, it’s important to weigh your decision in regards to insulation options. Traditional oriented strand board is a very common type of thermal radiant barrier sheathing, but there are new alternatives that can further mitigate the amount of heat that seeps into your home’s interior. These new roof underlayment barriers offer weather resistance on both sides, they are more moisture-resistant, and limit thermal conduction and convection more effectively than foil-backed OSB.
Your HVAC system usually accounts for nearly half of your energy bill. Your HVAC system usually consists of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and the replacement cost can vary widely.
It is worth looking into updating your HVAC system if your central air conditioning unit is 12 years old or more. You can save such a significant amount on your energy bill, it will offset the cost. Keep in mind, though, that leaky ducts can also be the culprit if you notice that your energy bills skyrocket in the summertime.
Ducts tend to leak, especially in older homes, so even if you can’t afford or don’t need to update your entire HVAC system, having a professional seal your ducts is a quick and easy way to save on your energy bill. Although it might be tempting to do DIY duct sealing, you will not be able to complete the job as well due to not having access to professional products and equipment.
Professionals use expensive computer-controlled systems to quickly pinpoint exactly where the leaks are in your ductwork – even behind walls and in hard to reach areas. They then use a professional product like Aeroseal to seal any small leaks, and test again for air leaks to make sure it was successful. Sealing your ducts can save you a lot of money, and keep your home more comfortable.
If you are remodeling your home, take the time to add energy efficient options to save you money in the long run, and your wallet will thank you later!
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.