Photo courtesy of Metro Creative 

Home renovation projects can pay numerous dividends.

Home renovation projects can pay numerous dividends. Renovations can have a positive effect on resale value, make homes more livable for residents and, in some ways, make homes more affordable.

When looking for ways to conserve energy around the house and save money, homeowners need not necessarily commit to expensive projects. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) notes that the following are some energy-saving projects and details what homeowners can expect to save after completing them. While each individual project may not result in jaw-dropping savings, homeowners who follow many of these recommendations may end up saving more than $1,000 per year.

Seal uncontrolled air leaks

Air leaks let cool air in during winter and warm air in during summer. Caulking, sealing and weather stripping all cracks and large openings can cut back on air leaks that are costing you money. The DOE recommends hiring a contractor to seal any leaks on heating and cooling ducts.

Homeowners who seal uncontrolled air leaks can save between 10% and 20% on their annual heating and cooling bills.

Plant shade trees

If you plant a deciduous tree between 6- and 8-feet tall near your home, it will begin to shade your windows within a year of being planted. Depending on the species of the tree and the home, the shade tree will begin shading the roof within five to 10 years. The DOE notes that shading is the most cost-effective way to reduce air conditioning costs.

Properly planted shade trees can reduce air conditioning costs by anywhere from 15% to 50%.

Insulate the water heater tank

New water tanks are likely already insulated. But homeowners with older hot water tanks can insulate their tanks with a water heater insulation blanket kit.

Insulating a water heater tank can save homeowners as much as 16% on their annual water heating bills.

Even the smallest DIY projects can produce big savings. More information about energy-saving home improvement projects can be found at www.energy.gov.

– Courtesy Metro Creative