7 Energy-Saving Home Upgrades That Pay for Themselves
05 October 2023
Rising energy costs and the growing awareness of environmental sustainability are driving homeowners and property investors to make savvy upgrades to their homes. With more people seeking to make their living spaces energy-efficient, we’ve put together a list of energy-saving upgrades that will enhance the home, contribute to a sustainable future and ultimately pay for themselves over time.
A simple yet significant upgrade is swapping out traditional incandescent bulbs for LEDs. Not only are they energy efficient, but they also have a longer lifespan and won’t need to be replaced as often, which will lead to substantial savings over time. Thanks to technological advancements over the years, LED bulbs are now available in a variety of colour temperatures and styles to suit the aesthetics of any home.
Insulation and Sealing
By upgrading your insulation and sealing any gaps and leaks in your home, you will retain indoor temperatures and reduce the need for around-the-clock heating and cooling. By taking note of any gaps and sealing them, you minimizes the exchange of indoor and outdoor air. The result is a more comfortable living environment and lower energy bills - it’s a win-win.
A major source of energy loss in the home is windows. By upgrading to double-pane or low-E coated windows, heat transfers and drafts are significantly reduced. Double-glazed windows enhance insulation as well as block out UV rays, which can protect furnishing from fading. They also increase the property value of the home.
Perhaps the most obvious upgrade from a South African perspective is the installation of solar panels. With regular load shedding, an increasing number of homeowners are wanting to achieve energy independence and be less reliant on the grid. While the upfront cost of solar is significant, it does reduce your electricity bill and adds value to your property.
Retractable Outdoor Clothesline
Consistent use of a tumble dryer will quickly rack up your electricity bill. If your home doesn’t already come with a clothesline outside or you don’t like the look of the old-school version, install a subtle retractable one. This will allow you to hang out your freshly washed laundry when the weather is good instead of using the energy-sucking dryer.
Ceiling fans help significantly reduce your bill by using them at the same time as your air conditioner. By running them at the same time, you’ll have a windchill effect, allowing you to turn the air conditioner down a few degrees. In the colder months, you can save energy by putting your ceiling fan on the reverse setting so that it circulates hot air that rises and blows it back down in the room.