In economically tumultuous times, it becomes more important than ever to find ways to save money when it comes to everyday costs. Think about things you take for granted, such as the appliances you use - you can reduce energy and water consumption by simply upgrading them. How much money are you losing to heat loss? You can save some dollars by beefing up your insulation and your heat loss efforts.
If you’re up to making a bigger investment, installing solar panels is the way to go. The upfront cost is significant, but the potential savings can amount to tens of thousands of dollars.
1. Installing solar panels
The ultimate cost-saving upgrade is solar panel installation. Energy costs have always been high, but with the price increases of late, it’s becoming potentially prohibitively expensive for people to heat or cool their homes. That’s why solar panels are an incredibly popular and efficient cost-saving method.
Instead of relying on power from the grid and paying for it through the nose, you generate your own energy by harnessing solar power that you would naturally get anyway for free. Not using it is like leaving money on the table. In fact, you may very well generate a surplus of energy - that you can then sell back to the grid, creating real, tangible profit.
It’s true that this comes with caveats - installation is expensive, sitting at around $9,000, but it’s an investment. You can expect it to cost Did you know that solar panels can save you $15,000 to $18,000 over a 20-year period?
The other aspect you’ll want to have in mind is what you can replace in your home that is currently using up too much energy with a more energy-friendly and cost-friendly version. With every year that passes, there are new versions of your existing appliances that are more and more environmentally friendly and energy-saving. Appliances use energy and water, and the older they are, the less efficient they are.
If you upgrade to the latest version of a fridge, washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher, you’ll have lower energy consumption, and thus, more affordable bills. It is certainly a financial commitment, but it pays off in the long run. You may also be eligible for rebates or savings as incentives to buy “green”, so you pay less.
In addition, should you wish to sell the home in the near future, the new appliances help boost the price, especially thanks to their environmentally conscious and cost-saving features.
3. Installing smart devices
In 2022, smart devices are highly sought after, but it’s not just the convenience and the boost in property value that’s great about smart devices - they can also help you save energy, and thus, money.
One of the most popular smart devices is a smart thermostat and for good reason. It enables you to have total control over your home environment, whether we’re talking about heating or cooling. Fiddling with the thermostat is no longer necessary because it automatically adjusts to the ideal temperature, and it can be remotely controlled on your phone, as well. All you need is Wi-Fi.
But its most impressive feature comes in the form of making energy consumption more efficient in your household. Since your home is never overheated or overly cool, you’re only ever consuming the necessary amount, which cuts down on your bills by up to hundreds a year.
In the same vein, smart lighting can help you achieve your ideal environment and lightning needs at the push of a button - or you can automate it entirely. That means that it can adjust to natural light situations and dim or brighten the lights as necessary. Plus, since they can also be controlled remotely, you never have to worry about leaving the lights on again, because they can be easily turned off on your phone. That can save you a significant amount every year.
4. Investing in heat loss prevention
Heat loss is often overlooked when it comes to saving solutions, because it’s unseen - out of sight, out of mind. But did you know it’s one of the best ways you can save on energy costs? There are many things you can do to improve your heat loss prevention strategy and save money in the long run.
Better insulation is your first stop - it’s not just your walls you should be insulating, but also your floor, and your attic. Stripping your walls to replace the insulation or add to it is a major undertaking, but it may be worth it. If that’s too much, then there are other solutions.
Properly sealing your doors and windows can also contribute to a reduction of heat loss. If there are no gaps, the wind can’t get in and the warm air can’t get out, so you retain a warmer overall environment and heat up the home to a lesser degree.
Curtains can actually be very helpful as well. There are special thick curtains that can act as a barrier to stop the warm air from escaping and the cold air from penetrating your space.
5. Planting more trees
You may already know that curb appeal is absolutely essential for the look and price of your home if you’re planning to sell anytime soon. Planting trees can really help with the look of your home and your yard, and it can also contribute to curb appeal. But equally important, perhaps, is their cost-saving ability.
Having trees around your home creates natural shading in the summer, which keeps your home much cooler. That means that you’re able to achieve significant savings on cooling costs in the middle of the summer. The Department of Energy estimates a 15% to 50% cost reduction. In addition, they can also serve as efficient windbreaks, which also contributes to savings on winter heating costs.
All in all, upgrading your home doesn’t just have to mean spending money - ultimately, you will see a significant return and even manage to save money in the long run. Energy-saving upgrades are not just popular, they are quickly becoming essential in our current reality where costs are rising so sharply.
Small upgrades like smart lights, better insulation, or even planting trees can already contribute to a greener home and lowered energy bills. If your budget can incorporate some bigger investments, replacing your appliances with energy-efficient models and installing solar panels can help you save even more.