These 8 High-ROI Upgrades Increase Your Home's Energy Efficiency

8 great energy-efficient upgrades that yield a good ROIMaking home improvements is a worthwhile investment if planned strategically. Not all embellishments, remodels, or builds will yield a good return on investment (ROI). Fortunately, homeowners seeking to integrate green and energy-efficient features into their houses will find these 8 upgrades bring a great ROI.

Energy-STAR Appliances

Traditionally, appliances were designed for convenience, not energy efficiency. Unfortunately, they were a huge draw on both electricity and water. Today, homeowners can enjoy convenience while simultaneously enjoying a greener lifestyle. Energy-efficient appliances yielding a strong ROI include clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and standalone freezers for those with space. Homeowners should be sure appliances are marked with the ENERGY STAR sticker.

Programmable & Smart Thermostats

Digital thermostats that can be programmed are a much better option than traditional thermostats because occupants choose their temperatures and then set and forget them. Homeowners who prefer even more automation can consider smart thermostats that will do the configuring for them. Smart hubs can even tie in other systems, like home security. Users can also control their heating and cooling from the convenience of their phones. Either thermostat type goes a long way towards meeting energy efficiency and generally yields a full ROI since they aren't expensive.

Solar Water Heaters

Water heaters draw a significant amount of energy, but solar water heaters can put a big dent in any electricity bill. Solar is steadily growing. With new federal and state laws being passed with sustainability in mind, it will not be long before solar is mainstream for the average homeowner. In addition to the 50% savings on the electricity used to power a water heater, the IRS grants tax credits for certain energy-efficient home upgrades. Solar water heaters are currently on the list. Always check, however, because IRS incentives can expire or get changed.

Upgraded Windows

Keeping drafty old windows is basically throwing dollars out the window. Many homeowners don't realize drafts let out up to 30% of a home's heat or A/C. Replacing these with airtight vinyl or wood ENERGY STAR models can significantly boost the value of a home while offering substantial energy savings, which are seen almost immediately.


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Steel Doors

Steel doors are another upgrade that can help reduce that 30% of heat and A/C escaping. Savings can be realized almost immediately. Not only will homeowners net quick savings, but the ROI on their new steel door will be almost 100%.

Sustainable Insulation

Many people think “pink” when it comes to insulation, but in reality, “green” is an up-and-coming option. Today's insulation types are made of sustainable materials, are more energy-efficient, and give homeowners more than a 100% ROI. When considering upgrades, homeowners can look towards insulating ceilings, windows, doors, attic floors, and any other areas with gaps where the air heavily flows in and out.


Skylights aren't a feature most people tend to consider with energy efficiency in mind rather than aesthetics. The reality is that skylights can be both. Today, many homes feature skylights in living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and baths—and with good reason. They add natural light and don't require any electricity to be used.

Smart LED Lighting

LED lighting is energy-efficient, reliable, and the bulbs have a long lifespan. Smart versions of LED bulbs can be controlled remotely, which means no worries about lights being left on for long periods of time. With a simple click from anywhere, they'll be turned off.

Going Green Is Easier Than Ever

Any upgrades or additions integrated into homes in 2021 are likely going to be a good investment. Buyers are increasingly looking at greener lifestyles, and homes with these features will attract their attention. Not only will green upgrades appeal to buyers, but sellers will also enjoy receiving higher prices for their properties.

Posted by Ryan Rodenbeck on
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