While saving the world through green home improvements is a noble impulse, many home owners are limited by their budgets. Investing in eco-friendly home improvements often represents an expense. Where can home owners make smart improvements that return on their investment financially while also saving the world? Try these high-value energy saving projects.
Have an Energy Audit
An energy audit will provide home owners with a clear portrait of where their home is losing energy and how to fix it. Best of all, it may not cost anything! Many communities offer free energy assessments to home owners; some people may even be eligible for reduced-cost or free home improvements after the energy assessment.
When home improvements start with an energy audit, home owners can take steps to seal their home and reduce leaks. This curbs energy consumption, which in turn reduces money spent on utilities.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats as well, as other forms of smart technology, offer a quick win in terms of energy savings and long term value as well. For instance, home owners can program the heat to come on in the early morning, then go off when everyone’s left for work or school so they don’t pay to heat an empty house. In the evening, the thermostat kicks back on to heat the house for the return from work.
Typically, these thermostats save 10 percent on home heating and cooling by automatically adjusting the home’s temperature based on a programmed schedule. Money saved can then be reinvested in another green home improvement.
Install a High-Efficiency Water Heater
Typically, water heaters account for up to 25 percent of a home’s annual energy consumption. By selecting a more efficient water heater, home owners stand to reduce a major component of their energy consumption.
Water heaters last 10 to 15 years on average. Families with an older water heater can circumvent sudden failure and save money by replacing an aging water heater with an energy-efficient model now.
Invest in Insulation
Insulation is a common recommendation in energy assessments, so what makes it so important? Insulation serves as a barrier against heat transfer.
In winter months, insulation prevents heat from escaping. During the summer, insulation blocks solar heat from entering the home. When a home holds onto more hot or cold air, the HVAC system works less hard to heat or cool the home to a comfortable level. Residents are more comfortable in the home and spend less on heating or cooling expenses, while reducing their environmental impact.
Switch to LED Lightbulbs
LED lightbulbs have come down in price over recent years to the point where it makes financial sense to switch. LED lightbulbs are the most energy-efficient type of light, capable of lasting up to 25 times as long as an incandescent bulb and emitting 75 percent less energy.
Start by replacing the most commonly-used lightbulbs, such as porch or kitchen lights, with LED bulbs. Electricity costs will come down instantly, providing a rapid return on investment.
When home owners select green home improvements that return their value quickly, they spend less on utilities, recoup project expenses quickly, and net real savings from the project. Money saved can then be used for a more costly eco-friendly project, whether it’s solar panels, replacement windows, or even an electric car.
About The Author
Serial Entrepreneur, Technologist and Inventor my objective is to develop useful products that have a net positive effect in the lives of those that use them and the environment that we live in. CEO of Mission LED Lighting Company Ltd.
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