It’s almost November and winter is in the air. If you live on the east coast, soon it will be time to think about winterizing your home for those cold, icy days ahead.
You may already know you can save money by dialing down your thermostat or installing a programmable model like a Nest. But did you know you can also increase your homes’ value by winter-proofing it?
If you’re planning to sell your home in the next few years, you might consider investing in a few winter-proofing projects before listing your home for sale which will increase your home’s resale value in the long run.
Here are four ideas which will catch the eye of a savvy new home buyer:
Adding insulation is one of the easiest ways to conserve heat, and is a viable do-it-yourself project for many homeowners. You can also block air coming in around outlets by adding a foam insulator behind the outlet cover, and if your doors are leaking heat, add weather stripping for a quick fix. However, attic floors, basement ceilings or crawl spaces, as well as outside walls, are the major air leak areas where insulation can be added.
How much insulation do you need for each area of your home? This depends on a number of factors, such as where you live and what type of heating you have in your home. Luckily, the Department of Energy has done all the wok in estimating what type of insulation is best for each area of your home, and how many inches of which R-rating you need.
If you have an older home, a new furnace might be in your future. While this is a big ticket item, you’ll probably realize substantial savings if you have an antiquated system such as a boiler. The new high-performance, energy-saving furnaces boast up to a whopping 90 percent efficiency. Don’t let the numbers fool you into thinking your bill will shrink to 10 percent of last year’s, though. If your old furnace is running at 75 percent efficiency, you’ll save around 15 percent over the old model. Still, it’s money in the bank and if you’re planning to sell your home soon, a new furnace will be a big selling point for potential buyers.
Windows allow you to enjoy the outdoors, but they are one of the worst culprits when it comes to allowing heat to escape. Good news here: Windows are also one of the home improvements which give instant savings on your monthly bill while also earning you a major portion of your money back at resale. In fact, if you have older wooden windows, you can expect around 80 percent return on your investment when you sell your home. Look for Energy Star rated windows and you can save up to a whopping $465 per year.
Many people don’t think of new doors as energy savers, but they can be. Doors have R ratings too, just look for the sticker with energy performance ratings to narrow your choice. Keep in mind that glass is one of the worst culprits in heat loss. A door without windows will generally give you less heat loss than the beautiful windowed model with sidelights.
Contact Your Heat Provider For Advice
Last but not least, if you’re not sure where to start, contact your heat provider. Many offer a free or low-cost energy audit service, and will inspect your home for heating leaks and prioritize your needs. That way you’ll have an idea of where to start in your quest for a lower heating bill this winter.
When you’re ready to start one or more of these upgrades, remember to save your receipts. Many energy-saving projects qualify for a tax credit on your federal income tax return, so you can enjoy a little more money in your pocket when winter is finally over.