Despite enjoying the change of seasons and the frosty weather that winter brings, we know that you dislike the rise in energy prices that come along with it. It is one thing to feel toasty and warm in a home while the snow falls outside, and another entirely when you receive your energy bill and realize you have been using the heat too much. As a matter of fact, according to the United States Energy Information Administration, the average American household spent nearly $4,000 or more on heating costs each winter.
This winter, the good news is that you won’t need to run your heater constantly to stay warm. Read our six home upgrades that will keep your home toasty this winter and save your wallet on heating costs.
A thicker, more durable siding will add an extra layer of insulation to your home, but upgrading your siding has other advantages as well. When you get new siding installed on your home you may realize that there is little to no insulation behind your current siding. This is a great opportunity to upgrade the insulation behind your siding to a ¾” Polystyrene insulation. This insulation will make your home up to 20% more energy efficient saving you hundreds on your energy bills each year. With the right exterior, you can withstand more levels of weather damage, your home will require less maintenance and cleaning, and of course, the value of your house will go up significantly. Getting your home ready for winter may be just the right time to replace your old, deteriorating vinyl siding.
If your windows are over a decade old, replacing them is one of the best home upgrades and investments you can make. As a result of older windows’ gaps, air can easily escape; the glass on older windows are much thinner than they are made today, providing weaker insulation. Window replacement may seem expensive but you’ll recoup most of their cost in added home value–and you’ll notice the difference in air quality and heating efficiency as soon as they’re installed.
As a secondary option to windows, doors are an excellent upgrade option for added insulation and creating more energy efficiency for your home. Invest in a new, thicker, and more energy-efficient door to replace an older one. Old doors are made of mostly wood which does not have a great insulation value and will rot and warp over time. Newer doors are made with foam insulation filled within the core giving it a higher insulation value than the walls of your home. The increased value of your home and the energy you’ll likely save over time makes this an excellent investment.
Attics are frequently your home’s most significant source of heat loss since most are unfinished and in direct contact with the outdoors. On top of this, the air in your home rises ending up in your attic. A finished attic can greatly improve your energy efficiency (and make your home cooler in the summer). There’s a lot of labor involved here: You’ll need to put in new insulation and drywall. However, once your home is finished, its value could skyrocket. If you do not want to spend the money to finish your attic, the next cost-effective solution would be to add blown-in insulation to the floor of your attic. This will keep your home cool in the summer months and warm in the winter months.
Many of your heating losses may be caused by tiny holes and cracks in the walls and floors of your home. They are usually found in your attic or basement, where insulation is scarce, and construction is less polished. In most cases, these cracks are easily visible even to amateurs, especially on windy days! To detect them, simply feel around the area for any change in temperature or movement. These fixes can be done with a simple caulking gun or spray foam insulation.
As with doors and windows, insulation technology has advanced over the past few decades, and today’s insulation is far superior to that used a few decades ago. Though replacing your insulation may be a labor-intensive task, it could have a dramatic impact on your home’s energy efficiency.
Even minor, relatively inexpensive upgrades can significantly affect how well your home retains heat. Although you don’t have to make all of these upgrades at once, dedicating some extra time and money to even one major upgrade can have a substantial impact on your utility bills (not to mention your home’s value).
Contact Unified Home Remodeling today at (888) 631-2131 to learn how much an upgrade in siding or windows might cost and what options we offer. We’ll be glad to give you a free and accurate estimate and answer any questions you may have.