Home buying tips

Buying a New Home? Here Are 4 Easy, Affordable Energy Upgrades

A guest blog from Dylan Snyder, Realtor

The Snyder Group at Keller Williams Realty

When people first move into a new home, they may be tempted to focus on upgrades that improve the look of the space or make expensive energy upgrades. If they start with these energy-efficient improvements instead, they can save money and improve efficiency, without breaking the bank or spending a lot of time.

Weather-Proofing Windows

Unless a homeowner has chosen to undertake the large cost to upgrade their windows to energy-efficient ones, a home’s windows are made of glass and tend to be relatively thin. Therefore, they represent some of the least efficient parts of the home exterior. This means that even windows that were installed within the last few years might be passing heat too quickly from one side to the other. This puts pressure on a heating and cooling system to work harder. Adding a layer of weather-stripping to windows and doors blocks these air leaks, and costs very little to do. Homeowners might even be able to do their entire homes in an afternoon – especially if they use InstaTrim®.

Sealing Home Air Leaks

Like the windows, other parts of the home are prone to sustaining air leaks that pass air, dirt, and allergens from outside to inside. Sealing these air leaks might take only a little time and almost no expertise. Air leaks are common around doors as well as window frames. They may also occur in other parts of the exterior, such as corners or behind cabinets. Air leaks in the attic might dramatically decrease the efficacy of attic insulation, which is crucial to keeping heat in during the winter. Sealing these cracks with caulk or a caulk-alternative like InstaTrim®, will usually stop the leak and improve the home’s efficiency.

Sun-Blocking Window Film

Buying a home with new, efficient windows is excellent, but not everyone gets this opportunity. Replacing windows costs thousands of dollars, but there might be a simple alternative that improves window efficiency. Adding a layer of a specially-designed window film, such as a low-e film, might block solar and non-solar heat gain. This could help to ensure that the window does not become a heat magnifier during the summer. Buying window film and having it installed by a professional might still cost a few hundred dollars or even a thousand dollars. However, the effect is instantaneous, and the total expense may be recouped within a couple of years.

Duct Repair

People might be surprised to learn that a significant amount of the air that is heated or cooled by their home’s HVAC equipment never makes it into the necessary rooms. Leaks in a home’s ductwork allow that air to escape, making it hard to effectively heat or cool certain parts of the home. Instead of running the HVAC equipment longer to reach the distant points of the house, arranging for duct sealing is a fairly quick solution that might dramatically improve overall HVAC efficiency. The sooner new homeowners have their ductwork inspected, the sooner they can reap the benefits.

Moving into a new home is a great opportunity to assess its efficiency. With these simple upgrades, homeowners can appreciate a more comfortable living space that costs less to run, without a lot of extra work.