Energy bills for houses are one of the largest costs for home owners. Improving energy efficiency is possible with investment in three main areas: windows, siding and roofs. Each of these have options that can help to lower energy bills and also increase the value of your home.
There are several window selections that can improve your energy efficiency. If you are living in a house built before the mid 1990s, chances are your windows have single-pane glass, which is extremely energy inefficient and also often allow neighborhood noise to penetrate the inner sanctum of your home. Replacement windows with energy efficient ones can save you between seven and 15% on your energy costs, according to EnergyStar.com. Make sure the windows meet the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star program. You can recoup between 73 and 77% of the total cost for your replacement windows when you sell your house. Look at several window selections to find the right fit.
Because it is insulated, vinyl siding is an energy efficient option that also looks good. Types of vinyl siding also save you time because of their long-lasting quality — when properly maintained it can last up to 40 years — and low maintenance nature. You can recoup over 80% of your initial investment on mid-range vinyl siding. Considering that old, worn siding can lose you 10% of your house value, such an investment seems logical.
Roofing repairs are non-negotiable and must be done correctly in order to reap the most benefits. For example, you run the risk of cutting your roof’s lifespan by as much as 20% by installing a new roof on an old one. According to Energy.gov, you can lower the temperature of your roof by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit by installing a so-called cool roof, with heat-reflective material or covering your roof with waterproofing sealant. Look for products that offer good insulation, energy efficient features, and thus can cut your fuel costs. If you have windows in loft areas, look at several window selections to find the best option to maintain the energy efficiency of your roof.