There are hundreds (literally) of habits you can change and upgrades you can do to make your home more energy efficient and your lifestyle greener. Many things don’t cost any money and the ones that do, typically pay for themselves by the energy that is saved. Here are some worthwhile investments that will save enough energy to pay for themselves over time, making energy efficiency achievable and affordable!

Energy-Efficient Insulation Upgrades

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), insulation can pay for itself in a few years. When you sign up for a no-cost Mass Save® Home Energy Assessment, you will learn where your home is properly insulated and where it falls below standards for your region. You will also learn about the different types of insulation and how your home can benefit from various applications. With a Home Energy Assessment, you not only learn about how your home is currently performing, but you will get access to incentives like 75-100% off approved insulation upgrades. Your insulation upgrade will pay for itself, but it will happen quicker than normal because you get a big rebate applied upfront!

Strategically Placed Landscaping

Good landscaping can pay you back in many ways such as increased home value, decreased energy costs that end up paying for the project, and improved home comfort. According to the U.S. DOE, “carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of the energy a typical household uses,” and “on average, a well-designed landscape saves enough energy to pay for itself in less than 8 years.”

Here are some quick facts about using nature to protect your home and lower your energy costs:

· In tree-shaded neighborhoods, the daytime temperature can be up to 6 degrees cooler than areas without tree coverage.

· Strategically planned landscaping can reduce an unshaded home’s air conditioning costs by 15-50%.

· Plant deciduous trees to the south of your home (they can screen 70-90% of the summer sun while allowing breezes through, and during the winter months, they let the sunlight in)

· Plant evergreen trees and shrubs to the north and northwest of your home to act as winter windbreaks

Home Air Sealing Improvements

When warm air leaks into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter, that means you also have a lot of energy and money heading out the door. “The potential energy savings from reducing drafts in a home may range from 5% to 30% per year, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward,” says the U.S. DOE. Not only will the energy saved from air sealing upgrades pay for themselves eventually, the good news is that you don’t have to pay for it at all when you get a Mass Save Home Energy Assessment! When you sign up for the no-cost, no-obligation assessment, you get access to 100% off air sealing for your home! It’s all savings from there!

Energy-Efficient Appliance Upgrades

Think about all of the appliances you use on a daily basis from an AC unit to a refrigerator. All of those take energy to power. Did you know that…

· Approximately 43% of home energy costs are attributed to heating and cooling. (U.S. DOE)

· “Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home, typically accounting for about 12% of your utility bill.” (U.S. DOE)

· “Other appliances account for about 15% of your household’s energy consumption, with refrigerators, clothes washers, and clothes dryers at the top of the consumption list.” (U.S. DOE)

With the Mass Save program, you can access $2,750 in HVAC rebates and 0% financing ($25K for 7 years) to help make upgrades easier to complete. If you recycle your old refrigerator or freezer through the Mass Save recycling program, you’ll get no-cost appliance pickup and a $75 rebate! When you reduce your energy use, you will save money which is when you’ll see your investment paying for itself.

Lightbulb Replacements

While LED lightbulbs are more expensive than other lightbulb alternatives, they last longer and use less energy. The U.S. DOE says that LEDs “use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.” LED bulbs emit very little heat while 80-90% of the energy that incandescents and CFLs use is turned into heat! According the U.S. DOE, “switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs [with energy-efficient models], you can save $45 each year.” The best part is that you don’t have to wait for your lighting upgrades to pay for themselves. The sponsors of the Mass Save program are offering Massachusetts homeowners and renters LED bulbs at no cost so you just get to watch the savings pile up! All you have to do is see if you’re qualified by signing up here.

At HomeWorks Energy, we are your one-stop-shop for all things energy efficiency. Take advantage of our no-cost HVAC Consultation or no-cost Home Energy Assessment and get an energy specialist’s opinion about your home and how you can start making it more energy-efficient. We do repairs, tune-ups, replacements, assessments, consultations, and more! We love helping our neighbors save energy and money and we will show you how easy it is to be green! Sign up for a visit or assessment here or call us at (781) 305-3319!