New Years Resolutions for Home Renovations That Can Save Money

By Ken Torrino

Every year, when January rolls around, we make a resolution regarding our diet or spending to live out a better year.  So often we let the needs of our home slip through our mind, but a home could use some New Year’s resolutions too!

In 2013, home renovation is focused on improving safety and efficiency in the home. Whether you are in a high-end market like New York City real estate or not, a home can become even more valuable with home renovations.

Here are some suggestions for a few New Year’s resolutions to increase energy efficiency for homes in 2013.

Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Compact fluorescent bulbs save energy in the home. In fact, the bulbs use three-quarters less electricity than standard light bulbs. These light bulbs can last as long as seven years and may cost more than a standard light bulb, but the bulbs are worth the investment.

Purchase a Low-Flow Shower Head

The low-flow shower head regulates the water flow in the home. This project is easy and will only require less than an hour to install. Experts recommend installing a low-flow shower head on every shower in the home. This will save significant amounts of energy and money by regulating the flow of water. Many people neglect to make this change and waste significant amounts of money.

Purchase Solar Panels

Use solar panels to attract energy from the sun. This is a significant savings over obtaining electricity from the electric company. Installing solar panels can be expensive, but it is worth the investment. Most people add the solar panels gradually each year until there is enough to supply energy for the entire home on a daily basis.

Before installing the panels, you should conduct an energy test. This test can help you identify where the air is escaping from the home. When the areas are identified and sealed, there will be no wasting of heat or energy collected from the solar panels.

Purchase Energy Star Appliances

Purchase energy efficient appliances and put them in your home. These devices use less energy than standard energy star appliances. When appliances are not in use, you can save even more energy by unplugging the device. The thermostat can also adjust to save money.

Home Renovation and Energy Conservation

The New Year will bring savings if a few simple home renovations are completed. Every home owner can make their home safer and more energy efficient with a few simple changes. Consider the home renovations to improve the home and increase your savings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ken Torrino manages web relations for Elliman, brokers for NYC, Queens Real Estate.

Blog Contributor

This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. Ken
    I’m glad you are in the mindset to start considering Energy Efficiency and Renewables! However, I do have a couple of suggestions;
    1) Please begin to consider LED lighting. They are even more efficient that CFL’s, have the potential to last much longer and do not have any special disposal requirements because they contain no mercury.
    2) Low flow shower heads are a great choice but please also consider front loading wash machines, dual flush toilets etc.
    3) Solar electric systems are sized for the home occupants energy usage based on a year or more of utility data and are not installed bit by bit. Unfortunately, its just not economical or practical to do so for a number of reasons. Although system sizing is flexible based on a homeowners budget and needs, I rarely see a system get added onto later because panel dimensions and electrical characteristics have changed over the course of a couple of years and the old and new are no longer compatible. There is new technology that can address some of this but you still cant address the aesthetic issue of different looking panels on a roof.
    4) Energy testing is a worthwhile thing to do anytime, not just when installing a solar system. Although the two have little to do with each other outside of both being energy related. A home energy test can help determine not only points of air leakage from the HVAC duct system but in the house as a whole. It can also help guide a home owner to addressing the reasons that their home feels drafty or cold in the winter and uncomfortably hot in the summer and why their utility bills are high as a result of combating that.

  2. Great advice on renovating and saving at the same time. One question – do high pressure, low flow shower heads exist? Because I have to have the pressure, too.

  3. I would also add dual pane windows to the list. Although it is nothing new but it is still THE most efficient solution for energy saving. In addition, improving your roof insulation is easy and rewarding.

  4. Triple pane windows can also have cut down energy bills as they help keep the cold/hot air inside depending on the season.

  5. Great Blog…Although solar panels here in Langley BC Can. doesn’t have the same saving effect, I will defiantly be recommending the other key points to my clients. Thanks!

  6. I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable.

  7. Great tips for any homeowner! Just wish there was a more attractive option than the fluorescent bulbs as the light they emit is so harsh. Thanks for posting…

  8. Some off these renovations have tax advantages as well. We deducted our new windows because a credit was available.

  9. Solar panels are a huge upfront expense but they have a lot of programs and tax advantages these days to make it more attractive. You can sell credits to the electric company as well.