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4 Home Improvements You Can Make This Year

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You cut coupons to save at the grocery store, maybe put money away in a jar for a special purchase, but are you doing anything to save on your home expenses? Aside from taking out a personal loan for home improvement, this infographic has a few tips you can use to make your home more efficient and keep money from falling through the cracks.


Inspired to make things greener? Find out more information on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s home improvement page. For information on financing, visit SunTrustAvant and Wells Fargo

Upgrade Your Lights

Make the switch to LED bulbs

Unlike appliances and other energy-efficient products, LED bulbs that are Energy-Star rated are rated for quality as well as efficiency

LED bulbs feature many benefits like:

  • Less heat emission
  • No toxic materials
  • More eco-friendly


  • $4 – $10 per bulb depending on bulb type and application
  • Annual energy cost – $1 based on 2 hrs/day of usage and an electricity rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour
  • Bulb Life – 25,000 hrs (in most cases)


  • 75-80% over traditional bulbs
  •  72% over halogen bulbs
  •  5+% over CFLs

ROI – 100% in 24.9 months

Level of difficulty – Easy

Install Reflective Roofing

Reflective roofing can help you lower your energy costs by reflecting light and heat away from your home

Reflective roofing feature many benefits like:

  • Reducing your heating and air conditioning costs
  • Maintaining consistent indoor temperature
  • Decreasing heat damage on your roof


  • $0.75 – $1.50 ft2 for low or flat roof coatings
  • $0.05 – $0.10/ft2 for cool-roof upgrade on new
  • $1.50 – $0.10/ft2 for single-ply membranes
  • $0.10 – $0.20/ft2 for a built-up roof with a cool coating


  • An average of $0.50 on heating and cooling costs over traditional roofing materials

ROI – 75%

Level of difficulty – Difficult.

You will need to hire professional roofers

Upgrade Your HVAC

Cleaning your HVAC system at least once a year will keep it operating smoothly

You can also make upgrades to your HVAC system:

  • Upgrade your HVAC fan to move air more efficiently through your house
  • Upgrade your furnace, and/or hot water boiler to a more efficient model
  • Upgrade to a heat, pump, will will move air from the outside indoors
  • Upgrade to a biomass stove, which can burn wood, plant material, and agricultural waste


  • Consumer Cost for regular maintenance – $237-$428


  • Savings – Up to 80% depending on the severity of the problem

ROI – 75%

Level of difficulty – Medium

Buy New Windows and Doors

New windows and doors can dramatically reduce the amount of heat loss or gain you experience in the winter and summer


  • Replacement windows should be thermal insulated windows
  • Use replacement windows with a silicon-based, or foam-based window seals
  • Reinforcements in the window frames will help reduce buckling and sagging over time
  • Only buy replacement windows with insulated frames, as these will provide the best performance and energy efficiency


  • Buy solid core doors or doors with significant foam insulation
  • If buying wood doors, opt for hardwood cores
  • If buying steel or fiberglass doors, a thermal break is required


  • Consumer Cost for standard double pane windows – $300 per window
  • Triple-pane high efficiency windows – $1,000-$2,000 per window
  • Per Door Installed – $500 – $1,400

Savings –

Up to 40% on energy costs, depending on window efficiency and installation method

ROI – 85% for windows

98% for doors  (depending on quality and construction)

Level of difficulty – Medium to Difficult

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