How can I increase my home's energy efficiency on a limited budget?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ October 29, 2012 ~ No Comments

I am remodeling an older (1950's) house so that I can resell it. The house probably needs new windows and possibly insulation. I can't spend too much money, but want to make the home more energy efficient. What are the best areas to spend my money?

Brett Kulina

Many homeowners are dealing with the same situation that you are, namely trying to figure out which energy efficient home improvements are worth doing when you are going to be selling your home within the next few years. If you have only a modest remodeling budget and know that you won't be in your house for too long, then it can be a tough decision to pay for expensive home improvements that have little immediate payback. You should first determine how much of your remodeling budget you can spend on energy efficient upgrades, and then you can prioritize the home improvements that will both generate the highest immediate return, in terms of lower monthly energy bills, and also decide which improvements might be most desirable to a future buyer of your house.

Installing new energy efficient windows in your home is probably a good place for you to start your remodel. New windows can give your home a noticeable face lift, as well as reduce your home's overall energy use. Double-paned vinyl windows with insulated frames can also be a big selling point with potential home buyers. Next you should evaluate your home's heating and cooling system, as older furnaces and A/C units can be big energy hogs. Likewise, new EnergyStar rated kitchen appliances and water heaters are more energy efficient than older models and will surely be noticed by potential home buyers.

Although home insulation is not an aesthetically noticeable home improvement, a poorly insulated home can feel cold and drafty in the winter and can be expensive to keep cool in the summertime. Adding additional insulation to your home's attic or crawl space is usually not that expensive and can greatly improve the overall comfort level of your home. Adding insulation to your home can also be a simple and DIY-friendly home improvement.

I think you are definitely on the right tract when you spend your remodeling dollars on cost-cutting energy efficient upgrades, as opposed to just adding upgraded granite counter tops or additional square footage. Today's home buyers are more conscious of a home's overall energy use as well as the many benefits of energy efficient home improvements.

No Responses to “How can I increase my home's energy efficiency on a limited budget?”