Turn energy efficiency into savings

Wednesday Sep 20th, 2017


by Scott McGillivray

If your older home holds more chill than charm, it could be that it's time to consider a few energy efficiency upgrades. Many are simple and cost-effective, but can make a considerable impact on your monthly energy bills. The savings from upgrades typically start right away and can really add up over time.

Employ these top upgrades to help create savings:

• Replacing older windows can reduce your energy bill up to 15 percent.

• Sealing ducts and adding insulation to prevent heat loss can make a big difference, since 50 percent of the energy a single-family house consumes goes toward heating and cooling. The first place to start is your attic. Use an inorganic batt insulation, like Roxul Comfortbatt, which repels moisture and resists mold. Aim for an R-value of R50 or a depth of 16 inches.

• Exchanging an old furnace and for a high-efficiency model with a programmable thermostat can help save as much as $300 a year. Newer smart thermostats can recognize your heating habits and help you make adjustments to save energy consumption and costs.

• Replacing older appliances with more efficient options can help you realize easy monthly savings. Consider swapping out your fridge, dishwasher, laundry machines, hot water tank and/or air conditioning units, as newer models have advanced considerably over previous generations. Appliance alternatives also exist, such as counter top ovens with convection, slow cook, air fry and dehydration capabilities. They heat up in less time and reduce your carbon footprint.

• Caulking cracks and crevices around your home is easy. These can be a source of air leaks, which ultimately are a draw on energy consumption––and your wallet.

Scott McGillivray is the host of the hit HGTV series Income Property and Moving the McGillivrays, a full-time real estate investor, contractor, author, and educator.


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