Top 7 Energy-Efficient Upgrades For Your Detroit Home

Austin Black II

Detroit, Michigan, holds the distinction of being the largest city in the state, boasting a population of over 620,000 residents. Additionally, the greater metro area of Detroit is home to a significant 4.3 million individuals, positioning it as the second-largest metro area in the Midwest, just behind Chicago.

While commonly associated with the automobile industry, Detroit has gained recognition as an industrial hub, a cultural epicenter, and a haven for architectural marvels. Beginning in the 2000s, the city has prioritized the restoration of numerous historic theaters, venues, and towering structures and revitalizing its picturesque riverfront. Consequently, Downtown Detroit, Midtown Detroit, and various other remarkable neighborhoods in Detroit have witnessed a resurgence in population growth in recent years. Whether you already own a home in the area or are interested in purchasing one, having energy-efficient upgrades will go a long way in saving you money and increasing the value of your home.

If, for instance, you spend significant money on heating and cooling bills, your home likely needs more optimal energy efficiency. The good news is that you can invest in a few upgrades that will not only improve energy efficiency but also increase the value of your home. You can increase your home’s energy efficiency while adding value. Not only will these efficiency upgrades significantly increase the value of your home, but they will also provide immediate benefits for you, such as:

  • Enhanced Comfort: By adding insulation, investing in professional air sealing, and upgrading your HVAC systems, your home will provide exceptional comfort throughout the year.

  • Improved Indoor Air Quality: Energy improvements can reduce moisture, allergens, and dust, creating a healthier and happier living environment.

  • Reduced Energy Consumption: Lower energy bills are always desirable, and with the rising energy costs in the United States, reducing your energy use today is a win for you and the future occupants of your home.
If your primary goal is to increase the value of your home, don't worry! Let's discuss the energy-efficient upgrades to enhance your Detroit home's value.

Upgrade to double-pane windows

Your windows not only enhance your appearance but also improves energy efficiency. Energy Star-rated windows help maintain a consistent temperature inside your home year-round and reduce energy bills by anywhere between 21% and 31%. Upgrading to double-pane windows with insulated glass is an excellent way to increase your energy efficiency and add substantial value.

Upgrade your home insulation

Insulating your attic is one of the simplest ways to improve energy efficiency and solve issues like ice dams, cold air drafts, and increased heating and cooling bills. Hot air rises, so ensuring that the insulation in your attic is adequate goes a long way in preventing substantial heat loss. Most home builders use good insulation; however, that insulation wears down over time, especially throughout the seasons.

Additionally, as your home settles, it will likely form air leaks around attic structures, windows, doors, the foundation, etc. These factors make adding insulation around your home, especially in the basement and attic, an excellent way to increase energy efficiency. Spray foam is affordable, costing between $1.00 and $4.50 per square foot, and sellers can recoup a significant portion of the project costs.

Replace old appliances with Energy Star models

Upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient appliances is an easy and effective way to improve your home's energy efficiency. Newer appliances can use up to 40% less energy than ten-year-old models. Start with the kitchen, as it is an essential room for buyers. Stainless steel appliances are particularly favored. Kitchen appliance packages range in price depending on the model, but you don’t have to choose the most luxurious package to save on energy.

Add solar panels

While not technically an "energy-efficient upgrade," solar panels provide clean energy and lower electric bills. As the homeowner, having solar panels on your house allows you to produce your energy, reducing the amount you use from your local utility. Although they require a significant investment (around $3,500 to $35,000 on average), they can increase your home's value. Buyers' interest in solar panels may vary, depending on the area and their familiarity with the technology.

To maximize the benefits of your significant investment in solar panels, it is advisable to convert your home to electricity, ensure proper insulation, and have professional air sealing conducted.

Replace the garage door

Often overlooked, an energy-efficient garage door can significantly impact your home's energy efficiency. A new garage door can reduce energy loss by up to 71% by preventing air leaks and regulating temperatures.

Add weatherstripping to exterior doors

Installing door sweeps or weatherstripping on exterior doors helps maintain consistent indoor temperatures, reduces energy waste, and keeps pests out. This affordable project typically costs between $20 and $30 and can result in immediate energy savings.

Upgrade your major home systems

Electric water heaters are major energy consumers in most homes. Investing in a new water heater can significantly enhance your home and prove financially rewarding. With electric heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) now offered by all major manufacturers, opting for electricity becomes a straightforward choice over less efficient fossil fuel alternatives.

Upgrading to an electric storage water heater with highly efficient heat pumps can save approximately $3,500 over the unit's lifetime. While water heaters vary in price, a tankless water heater is a more energy-efficient option, saving you $80 to $100 annually. If your HVAC equipment is over a decade old or fails to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, invest in a new Energy Star-certified unit. Doing so could reduce your annual energy expenses by more than $115, depending on your location. Heat pumps are efficient systems that cool your home in hot weather and provide warmth during cooler periods. A heat pump runs, on average, around $3,500 to $7,500 for U.S. homeowners. If your home requires ductwork installation, the total project cost might be $15,000 or more.

Additionally, installing a programmable thermostat is a simple and cost-effective method to boost energy efficiency. This device can automatically adjust or deactivate heating and cooling systems while you are asleep or away from home, helping to reduce energy consumption further.

Get started today

Improving energy efficiency in your home offers numerous benefits, from lower energy bills to increased property value. However, before committing to any upgrade, conduct a cost versus benefit analysis before committing to any upgrade to ensure it aligns with your home's needs. Consulting with a real estate agent will also help you determine if the upgrade is proven to add value to homes in your neighborhood.

If you’re ready to discuss Detroit real estate or want to begin searching for homes in the area, contact Austin Black II of City Living Detroit today.

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