Air conditioning season can be brutal on your budget. Energy bills soar and it makes you start to question everything about your home. Is your air conditioner losing efficiency? Does your home need more insulation? Should you invest in new, energy-efficient windows? The team at A+ took a look at all of your options.
Look at Investment Vs. Savings
It’s a struggle to know which decision is the right one. At A+ Insulation, we see homeowners struggle with energy issues year round, especially when the temperatures soar or dip into the extremes. Naturally, we’d like to sell you some insulation. That is our business, after all. But when looking at high energy bills, many homeowners consider the energy savings before making a decision to purchase, but it’s the investment cost that you should be looking at. Let us break it down for you.
The Top Three Ways to Significantly Reduce Your Energy Bills
If you want to significantly reduce your energy bills, you have three main choices:
- New Replacement Windows
- New, High-Efficiency Air Conditioner
- Add Insulation
Let’s look at savings vs. investment with numbers we found on the internet:
Install New Replacement Windows
Windows are a source of 25% of a home’s heat loss.
Savings – According to the Energy Star website, installing ENERGY STAR qualified windows lowers energy bills. For a typical home, save: $126–$465 a year when replacing single-pane windows. $27–$111 a year when replacing double-pane, clear glass replacement windows.
Investment – According to Houselogic, the range for energy-efficient window pricing varies greatly, but Energy Star-qualified windows start around $120 for a 36-inch-by-72-inch, single-hung window and can go up to 10 times that. With labor, you’re looking at about $270 to $800+ per window.
Conclusion – Savings up to $465/yr vs. Minimum Investment $2,700 (for 10 windows).
Install a New Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner
Heating and cooling costs account for about half of your home’s energy expenses.
Savings – Using the Lennox energy savings calculator, and using Kansas as our geographic point, if you replaced your old (10 SEER) air conditioner with an energy efficient (15 SEER) air conditioner, you would save 33% on your home cooling bills
($375 over a 5-year period) which calculates to $75/yr.
Investment – According to HomeAdvisor, 2017 prices for new air conditioners range from $1,900 to $5,100.
Conclusion – Savings up to $75/yr vs. Minimum Investment $1,900.
Install Attic Insulation
Roughly 25% of a home’s heat seeps out through the attic and roof.
Savings – According to House Logic, adding insulation (based on boosting the amount of attic insulation from R-11 to R-49) can lower heating and cooling costs by as much as $600/yr.
Investment – Using the same source, depending on the type of materials you choose, figure on paying about $1,500 to insulate an 800-square-foot attic, which pays back your investment in three years.
Conclusion – Savings up to $600/yr vs. Minimum Investment $1,500.
Savings Vs. Investment Makes It Clear – Insulation Is the Smart Choice
So the bottom line is, if you’re looking for energy savings, but you’re not ready to drop thousands on a new heating and cooling system or new replacement windows, adding insulation is the obvious choice. Insulation is the lowest monetary investment that yields that greatest energy savings.