Making upgrades to your home can be pricey, but what if these upgrades can pay for themselves? Here are some upgrades you can do to your home that will pay for themselves:
Switch to LED Bulbs:
The initial cost of LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs is higher than ordinary incandescent bulbs; you’ll pay around $2 for a single 40W LED. But as an LED bulb has a projected life of up to 50,000 hours, and an incandescent only 1,200, you’ll need to buy fewer bulbs, saving you money in the long run. In addition, incandescent bulbs use up to six times as much energy as LEDs, so you’ll start saving on utility costs immediately.
A smart (Wi-Fi-capable) thermostat may seem like it isn’t for everyone, but consider: If no one is at home during certain hours in the day or night, why spend money heating and cooling an empty house? Smart thermostats are reasonably priced, starting at around $150 and going up from there, but there’s more than cost savings to be gained. Being able to control the temperature from a distance will also enhance your comfort. Just imagine the toasty welcome that will await you when you can turn up the heat a few minutes before you get home on a wintry day.
One of the most cost-effective ways to save on heating bills is insulating the attic, where heat loss is the greatest. The cost of materials for installing 12 inches of insulation in a 500-square-foot attic will run approximately $200, and you should notice lower heating bills as soon as cold weather hits. In addition, you could qualify for a 10 percent tax credit on the cost of the insulation come tax time.
Reflective Window Film:
When the hot sun hits a single-pane window, the room inside can heat up quickly, triggering the air conditioner and driving up your utility bills. Room-darkening curtains can help, but for more protection from the sun’s scalding rays, consider installing low-e reflective window film on the panes. A 3-foot by 15-foot roll of film costs about $25, and the more south-facing windows you have, the greater your savings will be.
Stop icy drafts! Exterior-grade caulking and new weatherstripping are inexpensive, coming in at roughly $20 for both. Caulk all gaps and cracks where cold winds can creep through—around windows and doors, and wherever your exterior siding gaps at the corners of the house. It’s a good idea to check weatherstripping around exterior doors every fall and replace as necessary.
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