How would you like to invest $ 30 and then receive a dividend of $ 45 each year on your investment?
This is essentially what you do when you are doing certain energy efficient home improvement tasks to cut your expenses.
When you pay to power your home, you know the dollars can really add up. The average monthly electricity bill in the US was $ 115.49 in 2019. However, your bill can vary widely depending on where you live – and whether you also rely on alternative energy sources like gas or solar.
Following the steps suggested below – especially if you do the work yourself – will be able to save a bundle. And, if you view the improvements as an investment, you can get a healthy annual return and avoid paying income taxes like you would on regular investment returns.
9 energy-efficient home improvement tips that will save you money, too
Investing in your home to lower your bills can keep every penny saved.
Ready to start? Here are nine ways to save money by improving your home.
1. Insulate your water heater
An insulating jacket for your water heater costs around $ 30, and you can install it yourself in about an hour.
According to experts at the Department of Energy, insulation of a hot water tank saves 7% to 16% annually.
In other words, assuming the average cost of hot water $ 438 If you want to work annually, you have $ 30 to $ 70 more in your pocket every year.
If you are able to make a larger upfront investment, you can replace your traditional electric water heater with a heat pump water heater.
Rather than generating heat directly, heat pump water heaters work more in the opposite direction than refrigerators – they draw heat into the device instead of pushing it out.
The larger your family, the more you save by using heat pump water heaters, according to the DOE. Two people would save $ 170 per year while a family of four would save $ 350 per year. The DOE estimates the cost of the switch to be approximately $ 800, which will save the family of four in just over two years.
The Energy Star site has one questionnaire to help you decide if heat pump water heaters are a good fit for your home.
2. Install a programmable thermostat
You don’t need as much warmth when you are in bed at night, and you don’t need as much heating or air conditioning when you are away from home. But you don’t want to climb out of bed on a cold winter morning or return to a hot house in the summer.
A programmable thermostat solves these problems by automatically adjusting the temperature settings for you.
Ten minutes before you get up in winter, the heat comes on. Ten minutes before you get home after a hot summer day at work, the air conditioner adjusts to keep the house cool. You only use the heating and cooling when you actually need them.
A A programmable thermostat can save you $ 50 annually in heating and cooling billsaccording to the government’s Energy Star program. Starting at around $ 60, many models are simple enough to install yourself.
3. Turn off your light bulbs
Another great idea for savings? Replace your lightbulbs.
Light-emitting diode (LED) lamps are 90% more efficient than conventional incandescent lamps and can have a lifespan of up to 20 years.
LEDs used to be expensive for a single lightbulb, but today you can buy a two-pack of LED lightbulbs for less than $ 5.
Before starting any home improvement project, read the DOEs Energy Star site to find out if the product you need is eligible for a tax credit or discount.
Using the LEDs can save you $ 4.10 per lightbulb per year in energy consumption compared to an incandescent lamp. The average American household has 50 light bulb socketsAccording to the EPA’s Energy Star program, this translates into a potential annual saving of $ 205 if you replace every lightbulb in your home.
4. Bundle these water pipes
Bare plumbing will cause heat to leak out, so you’ll need to set the water heater temperature higher to still get a hot shower at the other end of the house.
Solve this problem with a little pipe insulation: an inexpensive foam pipe with a slot on the side. Just cut it to the length you want with scissors and slide it onto the pipes.
This project takes about three hours for a small house and cost a total of $ 10-15according to the Ministry of Energy. Every year you save 3% to 4% on heating your water.
5. Replace your ceiling fans
Ceiling fans in general can help you save on heating and cooling costs.
In summer, run the fan blades counterclockwise to create a cool breeze. This reduces the need to operate the more expensive air conditioner. Turning the leaves clockwise will circulate warm air that rises back into the room, reducing heating bills in winter.
You can make even more savings by replacing your old, inefficient fans with Energy Star certified fans 60% more energy efficient than older models, according to the DOE. (And make sure to use your energy efficient lightbulbs in the lights.)
6. Buy a new refrigerator
If your refrigerator is working fine, there is usually no good reason to replace it, even if the new one is a little more efficient. However, if you have a refrigerator that is over 15 years old, it may be time to replace it.
A new refrigerator used about $ 80 less electricity each year compared to one in 2005.
7. Insulate your attic
If you have your heating or air conditioning running most days, you can seriously save money by adding new insulation to your attic.
Improvement of the attic insulation from R-11 to R-49 You can do this yourself in a day or two for about $ 750, according to HouseLogic.com. (The cost is roughly double if you want professionals to install it.)
You can save about $ 600 a year in heating and cooling bills depending on where you live and what kind of heat you have. It also increases the value of your home if you decide to sell in the future.
8. Seal these air leaks
Look for cracks or spaces around door frames, windows, and entry points for pipes and cables. You lose heat from these gaps in winter and cool air in summer, which increases your heating and cooling costs.
It costs about $ 20 to seal and peel and paste insulation strips to seal them all over the house.
If you’re looking to replace an exterior door, a steel or fiberglass door is a more energy efficient option than wood. Some steel doors even have insulated cores so no weather strip is required.
Energy Star experts say it will Reduce your heating and cooling costs by an average of 15%depending on where you live. That is potentially hundreds of dollars saved on an afternoon and $ 20 investment. Not bad, right?
9. Replace the toilet door
If you can hear your toilet running when it’s not in use, you likely have a leaking valve.
It’s not just a hassle – a leaking valve can be Waste up to 200 gallons water every day.
Since a new flapper valve can be bought for less than $ 10 and can save you $ 50 a month, this small investment may have the highest return on our list.
Steve Gillman is an employee of The Penny Hoarder. Associate and editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors also contributed to this post.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com