Image source: Institute of Entrepreneurship Development
According to a recent 2019 study done by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called What Home Buyers Really Want, home buyers are willing to spend an average of over $8,000 upfront on energy efficiency in order to save $1,000 a year on utility bills. In the long haul, this makes a lot of sense. If you plan on living in your home for 10+ years, those upfront investments will start paying for themselves. It’s also a plus to have lower energy utility bills on a monthly basis. That way you to stretch your budget and spend money on things that you enjoy.
On a deeper level, building an energy efficient home is an excellent way to reduce your footprint and help the environment. It's a smart choice to make financially; but more importantly, a smart choice to make for our planet.
According to the study, 83% of home buyers are willing to invest at least $1,000 upfront in energy efficiency. 37% are willing to invest $10,000 or more. This is a great sign for our future and an important trend to be aware of. For example, if you are planning to sell your home, increasing your home’s efficiency is a great way to attract buyers.
How can I add efficiency to my home?
Image Source: QuickenLoans
There are a number of ways that you can invest in your home’s efficiency. The most obvious way would be to install solar panels, but don’t stop there! There are a lot of other options that can help add up to an efficient home too. For example, simple swaps such as installing low-flow shower heads and replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs can be a great place to start. Smart Thermostats that turn off your heating or cooling while you’re away are another relatively low priced option for improving efficiency.
Image source: Ausgrid
How can I do more?
If you have a larger budget available to invest, you might think about adding insulation to your attic or other places in your home. A new way to add insulation to your home is to add continuous insulation panels to your exterior walls. In recent years, the International Energy Conservation Code has changed some building codes. For commercial buildings with more than three stories, builders and renovators must use continuous insulation. Although it is not currently a requirement for residential homes, it is a good investment as it may be required in residential homes in the next 10-15 years, depending on where you live. Because of this, continuous insulation solutions are becoming more readily available as the industry changes and progresses and residential options are starting to emerge.
Image source: Group Architect
What is continuous insulation?
Continuous insulation is exactly what it sounds like; uninterrupted insulation on the entire wall. Rather than having insulation just between your studs, continuous insulation goes over the top of the studs on the outside so that it is uninterrupted on the exterior wall. An easy way to achieve this kind of insulation is with foam panels. One example of a product available for residential applications is a patented system from Old Mill Brick called BrickPanel+.
What is BrickPanel+?
BrickPanel+ is a patented system created by Old Mill Brick to provide continuous insulation and make installing thin brick exteriors easy and fast. The complete system includes a liquid weather barrier, foam panels ranging in thickness from 1”-4”, fasteners, adhesive, and thin bricks. When the full system is used together and installed by a professional, it is backed by a 15 year warranty. The system provides an R-5 insulation value at a one inch thickness and increases from there for up to an R-20 with four inch thick panels, making it an excellent choice for those wanting to save money on energy bills and reduce their footprint. As an added bonus, the system is designed for thin bricks and includes grooves and channels so that you can easily create straight lines with real fire kiln clay bricks. Click here to learn more about BrickPanel+.
Let’s get started
Take action now. Make a commitment to tackle one home efficiency improvement project this weekend, even if it’s just swapping out some bulbs. There are a lot of different ways to improve your home efficiency and new products are constantly developing to help out. Get creative and start small. Every little bit helps!