Making green upgrades to your home can majorly increase your comfort. Unfortunately, comfort and quick paybacks don’t always go hand in hand. Upgrades like window replacements, garage insulation and increasing insulation levels to assure they’re up to the R-38 standard, are all upgrades where the most cost effective solution may not align with your lifestyle conditions. For example, replacing single pane windows in good condition is not cost-effective but the price paid for one south or west-facing window may be well worth the cost if it cools down a hot office or reduces traffic noise at night. It’s clear that in some situations the lifestyle conditions may outweigh the cost or payback of upgrades.
Insulation changes are another popular upgrade that homeowners choose to make. Adding insulation can often times give homeowners greater temperature control in their home but not every home is the same in terms of insulation. If a home has already met a R-38 Energy Star standard adding more may still save you money on utilities but only by a small margin opposed to adding insulation to an aged home where the insulation has sank. In the later example the upgrade would most likely save the home owners much more on their utility bills. Often the more important issue is finding out how the insulation installed. A 5% defect in the installation will cut the R-value (its effectiveness) by 50%.
All considerations for upgrades can be discussed with an energy auditor who will give you their professional and unbiased opinion of the most cost effective upgrades you can be making in your home. It’s important to get a professional opinion when making investments that could save you money and increase your comfort.
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