Go Green: 4 Ways To Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency On A Budget
By Brooke Chaplan
If you are like most homeowners, you may be focused on saving energy in every possible way. You may have already changed out your lightbulbs with more energy efficient options, and you have made adjustments to your programmable thermostat to further reduce energy consumption on a regular basis. However, you may be ready to make more significant upgrades to your home that can dramatically reduce energy consumption. Major improvement projects and upgrades can cost a small fortune, and you may be wondering what your options are to save money on your planned projects.
Educate Yourself About Home Renovations
One of the first things you should do if you want to save money on green home improvement projects is to learn more about renovations. Renovating a home is a huge undertaking, and many factors can impact the ultimate cost of your project. For example, the work that you do on your own as well as the contractors who you hire will affect the cost of your project. You should spend time educating yourself about the home renovation process by taking classes like Rules of Renovation online or in a local classroom. The information that you learn in these classes could potentially save you thousands of dollars or more throughout the renovation process and beyond.
Look for Tax Credits
Some of the energy efficient upgrades that you plan to make to your home may qualify for tax credits. The federal government currently offers credits for the installation of energy efficient doors and windows, some types of insulation and more. These tax credits can dramatically offset the cost of your next home improvement project, so take time to research the credits before you get started. This will help you to make thoughtful decisions about which materials and features to add to your home within the next few weeks or months.
Seek Rebates and Special Offers
In addition to the tax credits available through the federal government, some of your home improvement plans may qualify for additional rebates or special offers. Your city, county or even utility company may offer some of these savings opportunities to you when you make specific green upgrades. When you work with a skilled contractor, he or she may provide you with more information about the rebates and special offers available that are most relevant to you. You can also research the rebates and other offers available through the Internet.
Complete Upgrades With Baby Steps
You may love the chance to complete your planned home improvement projects all at once and enduring only a week or several weeks of contractors parading in and out of your home. However, if cost is a concern, it may be necessary to complete your green upgrades with baby steps. For example, rather than replace all of the windows and doors in your home at once with more energy efficient models, you can replace a few windows and doors per month as funds allow until this aspect of the project is completed. You can then move on to replace your water heater, add new insulation to the walls and complete other projects in future months that can reduce energy consumption in different ways. Over time, your entire updating plan will be completed, and you may not have to go into debt to accomplish your goals.
Updating your home with energy efficiency in mind is a smart idea. It can help you to save money while you are in the home. It may also help you to sell the home more quickly and for top dollar when you are ready to relocate. If you are thinking about improving your home soon, follow these helpful tips to ease the burden these projects place on your budget.