When it comes to energy efficiency, different homeowners may have very different ideas when it comes to how they measure returns. Perhaps they're looking to save money on their home energy bills, or maybe they're only interested in upping the resale value. Some homeowners may only care about the long-term returns for the environment rather than their personal financial interest. But no matter what you want from home improvement upgrades, striving for efficiency is never a bad choice. See how to get the most out of every dollar you spend.
Best Places To Look For Energy Inefficiencies
From leaky windows to a 30-year old furnace, most homeowners have at least a vague idea of where their inefficiencies are coming from. However, an official energy audit is the best place to start to find out which upgrades will net a homeowner the best returns. An auditor will test a number of different systems, including the ductwork, to determine which parts of the home pose the biggest threats to the environment and the Burnside home's energy bills. They'll make recommendations on what to do based on the layout of the home, so owners can tackle the upgrades in the right order.
Fast and Easy Energy Upgrades with High ROI
There are plenty of energy efficient upgrades with exceptionally high returns if only because they barely cost anything to begin with. Fixing a leaky faucet, investing in weather-stripping, or insulating the water heater or pipes are all fast and relatively simple upgrades that can reduce a homeowner's carbon footprint as well as their bills. Getting all of the electronics on a power strip or switching to an inexpensive programmable thermostat can cut back on the power bills as well. Or consider planting shade trees in an effort to both beautify the property and save it from the harsh rays of the sun.
Strategically Add Insulation to Save Money
Insulation is routinely said to have an ROI of well over 100%, which is the best news of all to any homeowner. And there are few homes who wouldn't benefit from better insulation—even those that are relatively new. When it comes to the building codes for each province, the standards for insulation change on a fairly regular basis. This means that even a home that's only a year or two old may not have the recommended insulation it needs to keep power bills down. Owners need at least inches of insulation in their attics if the goal is to fend off the more extreme weather.
Go Solar With A Home System
Every province has their own regulations when it comes to solar power, so the returns will vary depending on where a homeowner lives as well as the pitch of their roof and how much sunlight they get. The initial cost can be up to $40,000 to buy and install the panels, but this cost can be mitigated by neighborhood subsidies and incentives. Plus, homeowners may be able to profit off their investment in certain provinces. If the home is in Ontario, for example, homeowners can actually store their energy and then sell it at above-market rates. Solar panels continue to drop in price, further offsetting the costs of solar power. (Homeowners should plan to live in their home for five years or more if planning to invest in solar power.)
No matter how well a home was constructed or how expensive an appliance was, nothing in a Central Park home is immune from the passage of time. Replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones can cost up to $10,000 or more to buy and install, but they can also save hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling bills a year. New windows can also increase a home's resale value by up to 75%. Replacing the furnace or the air conditioner may net the home owner similar returns. Switching the most popular lights in the home to energy-efficient bulbs can save up to $75, while replacing a toilet can save about $100 per year. These upgrades are recommended for those who plan to stay in the home for another 5 – 10 years or more.
An efficient home is not only good for the homeowner—it's quite literally good for everyone. The more conscientious homeowners are, the more likely it is that future generation will continue to enjoy the natural beauty of this great country. By starting at the bottom of the ladder and working up to the top, homeowners have an opportunity to get both immediate and long-term rewards from upgrading their property.
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The Neal Estate Team is your #1 source for all of your Victoria BC real estate needs. Get in touch with us online or by phone at (250) 386-8181 to speak with a Victoria real estate buying or selling expert today. With decades of experience as a top selling Victoria REALTOR® and ranked in top 1% globally with over 4,000 transactions and $1 Billion SOLD, Ron Neal & The Neal Estate Team have the industry experience and market knowledge to help you make smart and informed buying or selling decisions.