There are many additions and alterations you can make to your home to improve its appearance and increase its value, but some additions can also improve the energy efficiency of your home. Here are two exterior additions you can make to your home to improve the visual appeal and value of your home and help decrease your heating and cooling bill.
Replace Your Home's Windows
The windows on your home keep out temperature variations to maintain a comfortable environment inside your home's interior, and can also help you benefit from solar heat gain during winter. If your home has old windows that need updating, they may be made of aluminum, which is a good conductor and poor insulator of heat and cold. Old wood windows can also become warped and not give you a tight seal to keep out drafts.
You can update your home's windows to have vinyl or other highly-insulative material to reduce your home's energy bill. Then, the type of glass your new windows have can also improve your home's energy efficiency. Some newer windows can be installed with double or triple layers of glass and filled with a special gas to help reduce energy conduction through the window. Depending on your budget and your home's needs, talk to a window installation professional about the options and pricing.
Plant Shade Trees In Your Yard
Trees planted in your yard not only help your yard look attractive and give your home positive curb appeal, they also can help reduce your home's energy bill. Trees strategically planted throughout your yard can block the sun from heating your home during the summer. Be sure not to plant them too close to your home, as their roots can cause foundation problems.
It is important to plant trees on the southern and south-western side of your home, especially on the sides of your home that have windows. When the sun is in the sky at the hottest part of the day, the shadow from those trees will fall upon your home to keep its roof and exterior walls cooler to help the interior of your home cooler. Then, blocking sunlight from shining directly into your home's windows will cut down on solar heat gain during summer.
During the winter when you want to allow sunlight into your home's windows to benefit from heat gain, the deciduous trees planted in your yard will not have their leaves and will allow sunlight to shine into your home. Plant coniferous, or evergreen trees in your yard on the northern side of your home to help block your home from winter winds that can commonly blow from that direction.