Sep 5, 2020

Energy Efficient Home Upgrades That Pay for Themselves

Pendulum made of light bulbs

Energy efficiency is one of the top topics in the last couple of years. Lots of focus is pointed towards reducing energy use at home. Many homeowners are looking to reduce their energy consumption, but they're hesitating because of the costs involved. Luckily for them, there are many energy efficient home upgrades that pay for themselves in the long term. So, it's a good idea to start with those.

It's important to mention that you shouldn't be afraid of larger upgrades that require a bigger investment. These usually add a lot of value to your home and that's something you can definitely use later on. There are also numerous financing options regarding green upgrades so finding money to perform these also shouldn't be a problem.

Seal all the air leaks

As you probably already know, both hot air in the winter and cold air in summer can escape through air leaks in your home. When this is happening, your cooling or heating system has to consume more energy to be able to keep up with the demand and keep the home at a comfortable temperature.

You can prevent this problem by sealing all the leaks in your house. There are many places that you need to check out, but focus your attention to windows as this is where the draft is usually the biggest. They're best sealed by caulking around them. It's a pretty simple job to do and sometimes you don't even have to hire a professional to do it.

However, you'll have to get your hands on a caulking gun, caulk, and a knife or a screwdriver. This simple task can lead up to 20% savings which are not a thing to underestimate. You can easily save enough to decorate your home on a budget in 2020.

Woman sitting by the window thinking about energy efficient home upgrades that pay for themselves.
One of the easiest energy efficient home upgrades that pay for themselves is sealing windows

Turn to low-flow fixtures

Making your showers shorter and turning off the faucet when you're not using it is an efficient way of saving water. However, switching to low-flow fixtures is a more efficient and easier way to reduce your water consumption. You'll need a contractor that will make sure everything is done properly when changing the fixtures. However, making the switch itself isn't that expensive.

The prices can vary a bit, but they're starting as low as $10 which is an amazing price for something that can save you over $150 a year. Therefore, this is one of the energy efficient home upgrades that pay for themselves in no time.

Install a programmable thermostat

The place where you can make the biggest savings regarding your cooling and heating costs is the thermostat. Replace the old one with a reprogrammable model. It presents you with an ability to schedule when the devices turn on or off. So, nothing works while you're at work, but turns an hour before you come home.

This way you're entering an environment with a pleasant temperature and you save a lot of money as nothing operated when you weren't there. You just need a few easy ways to cozy up your home and it will become the place you're running to after work. Additionally, you can change the temperature of your home remotely with your smartphone, which is always a nice feature to have in your pocket.

Thermostat showing outside and inside temperature.
A programmable thermostat can save you up to $200 a year.

Insulate the attic

We all know that hot air rises. However, people seem not to realize that the warm air can escape from your home through the attic. Similar to window air leaks, the heating system has to work much harder to keep everything warm.

Adding insulation to the attic is probably the most common, and definitely the most efficient way to deal with this problem. It's a tricky project, so you'll need some professional help. Your contractor will be able to tell you how much insulation material you need as well as what type of it is best for your application.

You’ll have to get everything out of your attic while the work gets done, but our friends from tell us that it's not that big of a deal. You can hire them to pack up and store your belongings for the time being.

This home upgrade will set you back for around $1,500 to install it, but the expected annual savings are $600. Therefore, this is yet another of our energy efficient home upgrades that pay for themselves.

Buy energy efficient appliances


The next thing on our list is often confusing to homeowners. They usually react in disbelief as they just bought new appliances a few years ago. However, if they're not energy efficient, you can save a lot by replacing them. Top of the line energy-saving appliances can set you back for a few thousand dollars, but you can be sure that they'll pay for themselves.

If you can't afford the whole set and want to just start with a few most important ones here's what you should look into replacing listed by order.
•    Laundry washing machine
•    Laundry dryer
•    Refrigerator
•    Dishwasher
•    Stove

Dishwasher and stove.
If your appliances aren't energy efficient, it may be a good idea to change at least some of them.

Install solar panels

And the last thing on our list definitely falls under home improvements you should never DIY. Solar panels are there to capture the energy of the sun and transform it into electricity. You can use this power to supply your whole house or just some bits of it. It was never easier to reduce your reliance on the grid and pay much lower utility bills.

However, it's tricky to tell when this upgrade will pay for itself. It will do that for sure, but there are many factors involved to determine the amount of time needed. For instance, in California, you can expect to pay somewhere around $13,000 for a system and over its 20-year life span, it will save you more than $30,000. Not a bad deal if you ask us.


As you can see, there are many energy efficient home upgrades that pay for themselves. Every single one that we mentioned is more than a wise investment. You can reduce your carbon footprint, save some money along the way, and increase the value of your home all in one go.


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