Here’s an idea that will light up the LED light bulb: home remodeling plans that save energy and money. Despite the upfront investment, investments in green remodeling often wind up paying for themselves. They can also improve home value. Here are a few of the best green remodeling projects to embark on.
In an at-times brutally cold environment like Chicagoland, the quality of your home’s insulation can mean the difference of hundreds of dollars. Attic air sealing is a common way to invest in this, but look into insulation for light fixtures, outlets, and switches, which can sabotage otherwise effective insulation plans. Outright replacement of windows with Energy Star-certified glass can be pricey, but depending on the age of your current windows, can absolutely pay for itself within a few years. A federal tax credit for insulation is available to help bring down the cost.
Upgrade large appliances
From laundry machines to refrigerators to water heaters, energy efficient options are bountiful in 2022. The Energy Star label is generally a strong indicator that you’re on the right track, but for prioritizing investment, consider some research into the best bang for your buck to start off with.
Install smart thermostats
This could be the winter to invest in a smart thermostat, the best of which provide many customizable options to make the most, as in, least, of your HVAC needs. Program your smart thermostat to automatically adjust temperature at certain times. Remote control from your smartphone provides maximum flexibility, and is a great pure measure of convenience.
Consider solar panels
For the truly ambitious green remodelers, the allure of solar paneling is hard to resist. In the right situation, solar panels can cover a large portion or eliminate your monthly electricity bill, but they also come with a steeper upfront installation cost. Many factors must be evaluated to determine if this will pay off for you, including: the amount of sunlight your home receives, the size and orientation of your roof (south- and west-facing roof panels generate more energy in the Northern Hemisphere), and any available incentives, rebates, or tax credits that may be available in your area. While the upfront cost is steep, it has become more affordable in recent years, and financial incentives for them are steadily increasing — solar panels are worth a look.