Simple Home Renovations and Upgrades - How to Lower Your Homes Utility Bills
As winter is slowly coming to an end in Edmonton, many home owners are getting anxious to enjoy the warmer weather of spring. However, as winter wraps up, the nicer weather is usually the start of new and unfinished projects around the home. While many of these upgrades are strictly for pleasure and resale purposes, there are other home renovations that can pay for themselves over time.
I will highlight 4 cost effect home improvements that can drastically decrease a homes utility bills in Edmonton and provide savings over time.
1. Replace the Filters on the Furnace and AC
The simplest and one of the most cost effective home improvements is to replace HVAC filters every 3 months. In Edmonton, the changing seasons create many airborne particles that can plug up furnace filters in your home. Once the filter becomes clogged, the HVAC equipment has trouble forcing hot air through the ductwork and will lose efficiency. It is also harder on the furnace and can shorten its life expectancy. Keeping filters clean and up to date in your home can produce exceptional savings on your gas bill. This very low priced home upgrade will pay for itself in no time at all.
2. Install a Smart Thermostat
The second easiest solution to improve home efficiency is to install a smart thermostat. If your home already has a digital thermostat in it, you can most likely save time and money on the new 24Volt wiring installation. If the electrical lines are acceptable, the average cost to install a smart thermostat will cost around $250
Case studies in northern climates show that a learning thermostat can save upwards of 100 dollars a year. Overall, a 2 to 4 year payoff can be expected.
3. Seal Your Home
Most homes in Edmonton are not properly sealed. Air infiltration and leakage play the largest part in inflated energy bills.
However, while this is true, it can cost significant amount of money to seal and properly insulate an existing home. With this said, I would only recommend sealing your home if 1) you are about to do a large home renovation, or 2) you renovate your home room by room, and seal as you go.
An improperly sealed home will cause increased heat and cold air loss, moisture problems, and insect entry into the house. Here is a guide on how to properly seal your home.
4. Upgrade Your Furnace, Hot Water Tank and AC. Think About and Instantaneous Hot Water System
When an old furnace or hot water tank finally stop working, this should be a time to consider upgrading all of your HVAC equipment to high efficient. Replacing your mid efficient hot water tank and furnace will easily decrease your homes energy bills upwards of $100 in the winter. The cost to do this feat varies house to house. Make sure you get multiple quotes on the supply and install of the high efficient equipment you want to upgrade.
Last, on demand-type water heaters (instantaneous) will provide hot water as required. There are no standby energy losses and don’t require a storage tank. The benefits of this is that no energy is wasted keeping the water warm.
I recommend installing an instantaneous water heater if your family is small, and your warm water usage isn’t that high. With this said, you will then save on the energy wasted to keep the stored water warm.