Homes designed or updated with energy efficient features and appliances are highly valued in today’s housing market. Whether you live in an older home or are thinking about building a new home, the more energy efficient it is, the more you’ll get out of it in comfort and resale value. We’ve put together some suggestions that are easy to make on your own or with some professional help to get more out of your home.

Get an Energy Audit

Know where to start in making your home more energy efficient by getting an energy audit of your home. The inspection will show you where to target your improvements.

Once you know where you need to focus your attention, you can strategize what projects to tackle first, like replacing windows and doors, upgrading heating and cooling systems or switching out appliances like water heaters, washers, dryers and ovens and other items.

Seal Air Leaks by Doors and Windows

Places where cold air can filter into your home, like windows, door thresholds, and basement wall cracks should be sealed up. Use a caulk gun and weather stripping to seal cracks and areas where drafty air can be felt. You may need to replace older, single-pane windows with newer, multi-pane windows. They’re constructed with several panes of gas-filled air to stabilize inside temperatures and prevent cold air from seeping inside and heated air from slipping outside.

Control your own Climate

You can make a significant impact on heating and cooling costs by installing a programmable thermostat. If your home has an older heat thermostat, by simply changing it to one that can be set to automatically adjust temperatures throughout the day and night, you can maximize your heating and cooling efficiency at a minimal cost.

Install an Extra Layer of Protection

Houses with separate attics that are decades old often have little to no insulation in them. So as the hot air from heating rises, it easily escapes trough gaps and small cracks in the roof joists. If your attic insulation is insufficient or non-existent, you’re most likely spending more money to heat your home than you need to. While newer homes often come with good insulation, older homes usually need to catch up. So by installing an extra layer of attic insulation you can increase savings on heating your home and recoup installation costs in a few short years.

Go with the Low-Flow

Saving on water supply costs for your home involves making a few updates that are worth investing in. By installing low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets, you’ll save money on water bills by having fixtures that use just the amount of water you need. Water-saving fixtures for your shower and faucets are fairly easy to have installed, and if you have an active household, you’ll really appreciate the savings.

The Recipe for Energy Efficient Kitchens

Some of the best energy improvements you can make to your home can be made in the kitchen. By replacing older appliances with newer, energy efficient models is a good investment whether you plan to stay in your home or not. Refrigerators and ovens are typically the most energy-consuming appliances in the kitchen, so they’re a logical place to start. And with today’s Energy Star-rated models, you can realize cost savings almost immediately while adding to the resale value of your home.

Lighting the Way to Efficiency

If you’re looking for ways to improve the lighting in your home and save on energy, you can save considerably on electricity usage by switching your light fixture bulbs to LED or CFL bulbs. Also consider the benefits of using more natural light to reduce electricity costs. If you’re able to take advantage of skylights in various rooms, brilliant streaming sunlight can help supply heat to rooms (and save money) with natural warmth — especially in cool climates or during the cooler seasons.

Updating your home with energy efficient improvements is a great way to make your inner environment more comfortable as well as protecting the outer environment. You’ll realize savings over time in the form of lower energy bills that can help you reduce your carbon footprint. And with federal government programs that offer homeowners financial incentives to make energy improvements, choosing the projects that make the most sense for your home might be the biggest challenge you’ll encounter!