When energy use in the U.S. is doubling every 20 years, it becomes apparent that we all need to do our part to reduce our energy consumption. Fortunately, reducing your energy use and improving your home can go hand in hand. Here are a few home improvement projects that will help you reduce your energy use this year.
Invest in a New Roof
Investing in a new roof is definitely a big investment upfront, but the reality is that your investment could last your upwards of 50 years and significantly reduce your energy usage. With a normal asphalt shingle roof, you’ll need inspections twice annually and you can expect your roof to last about 20 years. But if you choose to invest in a cool metal roof, you could be looking at a roof that lasts three times as long and helps you save energy. Metal roofing deflects up to 85% of the sun’s rays, which means your house stays cooler during the hot summer months. As a result, this means that you’ll have to spend less on cooling your home. Not to mention that a metal roof just looks cool on your house. And you’ll be able to choose from a wide selection of colors so you’re not sacrificing any aesthetic value when you invest.
Add an Extra Layer of Insulation in the Attic
If you’re investing in a new roof, you might as well address your attic at the same time. In truth, something as simple as an extra layer of insulation in your attic can help you maintain a more consistent temperature in your home all year round. When there’s more insulation, hot or cool air is less likely to escape through any nooks and crannies that exist between your attic and roof. If you’re not sure what condition your attic’s insulation is in, make sure you have a professional come and take a look for you. Based on their inspection, they may be able to recommend a certain type of insulation or a plan for adding insulation moving forward.
Upgrade Your Appliances
Whether you like it or not, a good chunk of your energy usage comes from your appliances. And if they’re a little bit past their prime, it could be time to invest in some replacements. Some good appliances to replace for energy efficiency include the dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, and microwave. When you’re shopping to replace these items, make sure you’re looking for the newest energy-efficient models. And whenever possible, make sure you’re looking for Energy Star-approved appliances to install in your home. Once you have these new appliances installed, make sure you’re taking good care of them. If the dishwasher manufacturer recommends maintenance every two years, then do that! It will help ensure that your new appliances continue to be energy efficient for a long time.
Plant Trees Around Your Home
Landscaping comes with a whole host of benefits. Not only can good landscaping make your home a more enjoyable place to live and enhance curb appeal, but it can also help you save energy. In fact, a few well-placed trees around your home could reduce your air conditioning needs by almost 30%. Of course, you’ll want a landscaping company to help you with this. While planting trees on your own can certainly make you feel great, it’s easy to plant a tree too close to your house if you’re not careful! When you work with a landscaping company, you’re investing in the expertise needed to make sure your energy-efficient dreams come true.
Using less energy at home can be as simple as turning the thermostat up a few degrees during the summer months, but a little home improvement could help you take that even further. Which of these home improvements will you make to save on energy use this year?