What can you do to reduce the footprint of your living space? Whether you prefer to DIY or decide to hire contractors, the following six improvements boost your home’s curb appeal and while protecting the planet.
1. Replace Your Windows
If you catch a chill while gazing out the window or if feel the blaze on summer days, you’d benefit from upgrading your windows.
You can enhance your home’s design by adding an arched or bay window as a focal point. You could also replace single-hung windows with double-hung models that are easier to maintain and clean. Select products that are well-insulated and leave no gaps. You should feel as comfortable sitting next to your new windows as you do in the room’s interior.
Another way to improve the energy efficiency of your home without replacing windows is by adding shutters. Exterior shutters work well if you live in an area prone to storms, as they prevent high winds from shattering glass. If your budget is tight, you can also invest in window tinting. Tint strengthens glass and helps fill minor cracks. It provides a higher level of privacy, too.
2. Upgrade Your Garage Door
An insulated garage door can save energy and give you a more comfortable space during the winter months. A typical uninsulated garage door maintains an indoor temperature of 36 degrees when it’s 10 degrees outside. After upgrading to an insulated model, the garage stays substantially warmer inside.
This doesn’t only boost efficiency if you use your garage as a fitness room or workshop, but a warmer garage means less heat escapes every time you open the interior door. In locations that regularly drop below zero, this can save you a ton in electric costs.
3. Inspect and Insulate Your Attic
Minor roof leaks can lead to big problems quickly. Water can warp the studs in your wall and lead to mold. Eventually, ceilings collapse, requiring pricey repairs.
Now that the weather has cooled, head up to your attic with a flashlight. Inspect for any damage, and then shore up your insulation. Depending on where you live, you could receive a tax benefit for doing so.
4. Improve Your Lighting
Bright, overhead incandescent bulbs use a ton of energy. Instead, upgrade to compact fluorescent or LED lights, both of which consume less power. Place LED stick-on lamps underneath kitchen cabinets to brighten up the space without blaring the overhead fixture.
5. Consider Siding Instead of Paint
Painting the exterior of your home instantly boosts curb appeal. Depending on the weather, you might need to drag out the ladder and bucket every few years to keep the look fresh.
Siding, on the other hand, lasts more than 20 years and improves energy efficiency. You can also take advantage of tax breaks if you make this type of upgrade.
6. Redo Your Landscaping
Finally, improving your landscaping makes for an impressive welcome. Depending on the plants you choose, it could make your home more eco-friendly.
For example, tall shade trees keeps your home several degrees cooler in the summer, reducing the need to run the air conditioner. Trimming limbs back in the winter lets the sunshine in, makes you feel warmer without adjusting your thermostat.
Today’s Buyers Covet Energy Efficiency
Even if you don’t plan to sell, improving the curb appeal of your home increases its value. Plus, you benefit from saving money on monthly utility bills. With so much to gain, start home improvement planning today.
AUTHOR: KACEY BRADLEY
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more!