Five Hot Ways To Go Green With Home Improvement
Making environmentally friendly improvements in your daily life has become very fashionable. However, it’s important to note that these improvements can also save you money, particularly when it comes to home improvement. If you make the investment up front, then you can save money over time through better energy efficiency and similar ways of cutting costs. Even if you have no interest in going green, the financial benefits can make it worth your time.
In addition to the savings, green home improvements can also increase the value of your home. That’s a big benefit- green improvements will save future owners money and might make them feel better about the house. If you are planning to sell in the near future, then it might be a good idea to try out a green upgrade to attract more buyers. This article will list five simple ways to add value through going green.
Windows are one of the biggest sources of heat leakage in the home. That includes heat leaking out in the winter and into the home in the summer. Installing efficient windows reduces this heat transfer, allowing you to save money on heating and cooling your home. The cost of installing energy-efficient windows is higher than standard windows, but it pays off in the long run because both heating and air conditioning will be more efficient.
ENERGY STAR Appliances
The ENERGY STAR standard is useful not only because it tells you that an appliance is energy-efficient, but also because it usually provides detailed information about the energy usage and estimated cost of an appliance. That lets you plan out how much you will stand to save, so you know when you will break even. The most important appliances to make efficient are the ones that run continually, like the refrigerator and the air conditioner, because they constantly use energy.
Tankless Water Heater
A tankless water heater is an innovation in hot water. Instead of using a tank of water that it heats up, it uses a heating coil to heat the water as it passes through the pipes of the heater. This approach means the water heats up instantly, so you don’t have to wait for it to warm up. However, these heaters are quite expensive to install, and they also don’t produce much hot water at a time, so it will be hard to supply hot water to multiple uses at the same time.
As discussed above in the section on windows, heat transfer is one of the biggest energy costs in owning a home. Finding ways to keep heat in during the winter and out during summer are big energy savers. Insulation is a straightforward way to do that. Good insulation includes not only the filling material in the roof and walls but also the sealant around doors and windows. It is cheaper to install insulation during construction than afterwards, so keep that in mind if you are building a house.
Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures
Low-flow plumbing can be a major way to save money on your water bill, and it’s a good alternative if you feel that your home is already efficient with respect to heat transfer. Low-flow toilets can save a significant amount of water per year, depending on how many gallons per flush your old toilet used. Toilets consume the biggest share of water for most households, but showers and faucets also come in low-flow versions that can save money by reducing water usage.
Many people are uncomfortable with green investment in the home because of the up-front cost, and up until recently, many of these improvements would take a long time to break even. However, new advancements have improved how efficient these items are and made them more attractive from a financial perspective. The best way to see if anything on this list is a good investment is to do a cost-benefit analysis. Find out how much your current setup costs and use ENERGY STAR or manufacturer-provided estimates to see how much you could save on any particular improvement. That will tell you how soon your investment will pay for itself.