Sustainable Living, Eco-friendly, Environmentally-mindful – whatever you call it, Going Green is great for the environment! Homeowners can benefit too from making green upgrades to their home.
These green upgrades can lead to some major savings:
1. Solar panels: There is an upfront cost to install, but the long-term savings are huge. The good news is that U.S. solar installation cost has dropped by 70% over the past 10 years.* In the last year alone, the residential market saw a 5% decrease in cost. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.
2. Wood furnace: Wood furnaces can work in conjunction with or in place of your current furnace system. Either way, you will be saving money over other costly heating methods. Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings aren’t as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.
Based on a 1,500 sq. ft. home in a climate with moderate winters. MF Fire 2018
3. Insulation: Unless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you can probably reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation. Many older homes have less insulation than homes built today, but even adding insulation to a newer home can pay for itself within a few years. Look into installing a floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bills. You can get a qualified energy auditor to do an energy assessment of your home. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you need to find out the following:
4. Rain barrels: Rain barrels capture water from a roof and hold it for later use such as on lawns, gardens or indoor plants. Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels reduces the amount of water that flows from your property. It’s a great way to conserve water and it’s free water to wash your car or water the garden. Rain barrels are extremely inexpensive, many cities and towns distribute rain barrels to residents through annual sales. Other sources include online retailers, local home, and garden supply stores.
5. Programmable thermostat: About 50% of the money you spend on utility bills goes on heating or cooling your home. A programmable thermostat has become a popular choice for controlling the home temperature. A programmable thermostat helps make it easy for you to save by offering pre-programmed settings to regulate your home’s temperature in both summer and winter – when you are home, asleep, or away. The amount you save depends on what technology you use. The more advanced the thermostat technology, the more you will save.
6. The more intricate models can save you up to 20% (or more) and this is all due to the fact they help you run your HVAC system more efficiently, without compromising on overall comfort. Another point to keep in mind, the more efficiently your HVAC system runs, the less stress there is and that can only mean it will last longer. So, having a programmable thermostat installed in your home is a win-win situation. Even if you do spend more on the unit initially, it will pay for itself in no time.
There are many options to consider if you are looking to Go Green, these are just a few. The benefits and cost of green upgrades may vary depending on where you live. If you are considering buying or selling a home, it would be important to get advice from an experienced real estate agent before you make any decisions. Agents who have been certified by AdvantageU Home Sellers’ Resource have a lot of experience helping homeowners with upgrade decisions.