One attribute many of today’s buyers look for in a home is Energy Efficiency. Making your home more environmentally friendly and energy efficient can range from small projects which quickly pay for themselves, to major overhauls which can save thousands of dollars over time.
SMALL PROJECTS CAN ADD UP TO BIG SAVINGS
- It Takes 1 Homeowner to Change a Light Bulb – By replacing the existing bulbs throughout your home with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) or Smart LED’s, you will consume 75% less energy (and they can last up to 10 times longer).
- Look for the Energy Star Label – Household appliances bearing the Energy Star label are certified to be more energy efficient than standard appliances. A home using Energy Star certified appliances will use roughly 30% less energy over the course of a year than the average household – an average savings of $570 per year.
- Water Going Down the Drain is Money – On average, each person uses about 100 gallons of water at home every day. Reducing consumption is as easy as fixing a leaky faucet or toilet. The slowest drip can waste roughly 10 gallons a day, or nearly $20 per year, with more significant leaks costing homeowners up to $200 per year.
BIGGER PROJECTS FOR SAVING MONEY AND INCREASING YOUR HOME’S VALUE
- Beef Up Your Insulation – According to the Alliance to Save Energy, roughly half the homes in the U.S. are under-insulated. Proper insulation can reduce cooling costs by as much as 20%! The roof is a major escape route for the cooled or heated air in your home. The most eco-friendly option is recycled denim insulation. It’s comparable to traditional fiberglass, but doesn’t carry the associated health risks. Installing proper weather stripping on doors and windows is a low-cost project which will turn into huge savings on your heating and cooling bill. The absence of weather stripping in a home can account for up to 40% of heating and cooling loss.
- New Double or Triple-pane Windows – Another major escape route for the cooled or heated air in your home is the windows. If you have single-pane windows, or even older double-pane windows, upgrading to new double or triple-pane windows can lower your utility bills. It can also reduce condensation on your windows and make your home noticeably quieter when it’s noisy outside.
- Smart Home Technology – It is now possible to use your smartphone to accurately monitor energy consumption, giving you more control over your home and energy bills. For example, you can purchase programmable thermostats in the $150-250 range which can adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere using your smartphone. They also allow you to set a daily schedule for automated temperature changes. Wireless light switches and dimmers ($15-50 each) can be used to turn all your lights off while you’re on the go.
- Solar Panels – Although costly, this renovation truly is “Going Green!” This improvement remains one of the most popular and effective upgrades for your home. Many companies now offer free consultations and customized quotes for the design, permitting, and installation of a solar panel system. The average homeowner saves over $1000 a year on electricity by installing solar panels on their roof. Although initially expensive, research has shown certain solar panel systems can cut monthly utility bills nearly in half!
I hope you enjoy receiving my report every other month. If you’d like to discuss the topic of going green at home, or anything else regarding real estate, please feel free to contact me.