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6 Budget-Friendly Energy-Efficient Upgrades

There are plenty of good reasons to improve your home’s energy efficiency, including a boost to your monthly budget. With a few tips and some advice from the Department of Energy, these six upgrades could save you money and add comfort to your home as winter inches closer.

Give your old water heater a break: According to the Department of Energy, simply lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120º F can save you money every month. Is your water heater struggling to meet your family’s needs? Upgrade to a new, energy-efficient model to reduce energy use. To save up to $15 a year in energy costs, the wrapping water heaters with a special insulated blanket available at most home improvement stores.

Get a smart thermostat: If you’re still using an old-fashioned, single-temperature thermostat, upgrade to a new Energy Star Programmable model. It will help automatically adjust temperatures when nobody is home to save you money.

Stop heating the outdoors: Adding insulation to your basement, walls, attic, and crawl space can help keep winter weather out of your home. The Department of Energy recommends R-49 in attics and R-19 in walls and crawl spaces. Other places to add insulation or weather stripping include heat ducting, doors, windows, plumbing pipes, as well as light switches and electrical outlets on outside walls. Energy.gov has plenty of tips to help you find and fix air leaks.

Buy several programmable power plugs: Plug in any items that don’t need to be on or even plugged in at night. Small items include lamps and fans that can be turned off overnight. Larger items include the extra refrigerator in the garage. If it’s colder in the garage than the temperature in the refrigerator, it won’t need to be on to stay cool.

Update or inspect your heating system: From a forced-air furnace to a pellet stove, every heating system needs an annual inspection. Before winter arrives, schedule time with a professional. Along with an energy-saving cleaning, they may recommend added insulation. If your system is outdated, consider upgrading to energy-efficient options to save on heating costs. Some updates may include tax incentives (see a qualified tax professional).

Replace your front door: The front door is often one of the most overworked and under-appreciated fixtures in any home. If the weather stripping and door sweep are cracked or old, replace them. Has your door been around for more than two decades? Today’s models offer additional insulation and can add value to your home.

Bonus tip: Reverse ceiling fans in the winter. Setting your ceiling fans to turn clockwise helps move and evenly distribute warm air.

Finance Your Energy Efficiency Update
Clearwater Credit Union offers Home Solar Loans as well as Home Energy Efficiency Loans. Add solar to your home or update appliances and HVAC systems. To help make them even more budget-friendly, we’ve eliminated the application fees, origination fees, and pre-payment penalties.

Get Energy Efficient with Clearwater Credit Union 
The equity in your home could be what you need to get your next remodel and energy efficiency upgrade done right. Learn more about a Clearwater Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) with tax savings or Home Equity Loan that makes budgeting easy. Connect with the Mortgage Lending Team for more.


All loans subject to approval. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS#447584. Insured by NCUA.