Summer is almost over, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any more time to improve your home. In fact, this time of year is one of the best to make some serious home improvements. But if you don’t want to break the bank, here are a few home improvement projects that can protect both your wallet and the environment.
Invest in New Windows and Doors
Did you know that in a typical house, almost 30% of the air that moves through your HVAC system is lost due to cracks and leaks? While some of this air is lost as a result of poor duct maintenance, most of your energy is leaving your house through your old windows and doors. The seals that were designed to prevent warm or cool air from leaving your home break down over time, which means it could be time to either invest in new windows and doors or make some serious repairs! Whichever avenue you choose, know that by doing so you’re making sure your energy expenses aren’t skyrocketing. In addition, you’ll use less energy to keep your home a consistent temperature when the air can’t escape through small holes and cracks in your window and door seals. If you choose to invest in new windows and doors, make sure you aren’t just tossing the old ones in the trash. In most cases, they can be recycled into new windows and doors, thus making even less of an impact on the environment.
Landscaping is a huge part of a home’s curb appeal, but it can also play a pretty significant role in saving you money and saving the environment if you play your cards right. Strategically-placed trees can provide some excellent shade on your home, which means you’ll spend less money on cooling expenses during the summer months. And when your HVAC system isn’t working so hard, you’ll be doing the environment a favor, too. In addition, almost 92% of homeowners are adding native plants to their gardens. When you add plants and flowers that are native to your region in your landscaping, you’re encouraging native pollinators to make a stop at your house on their daily journey! Not only do native plants offer some great ground cover for your garden, but they also help your local ecosystem thrive. And when bees are responsible for so much of the fruits and vegetables we eat, it’s important to make sure they have the means to do their jobs.
Consider Adding Solar Panels
This might be a bigger investment, but it’s a good one to consider if you want to save money in the future and use a green energy alternative in your home. And you wouldn’t be alone in adding solar panels to your home, either. According to energy.gov, U.S. solar panel installations have increased 35-fold in the last two years alone. They’ve also come a long way since their initial invention. Now, solar panels are lighter, more attractive, and more effective at capturing solar energy for you to use in your home. You can even get a tax credit of up to 30% for your total cost. That being said, it’s still important to make sure you’re not over-investing in solar panels. An energy audit and a few energy efficiency improvements will go a long way in ensuring you’re purchasing solar panels that meet your specific energy needs. These steps will also help ensure that you’re not making a bigger investment than you need to.
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