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5 Tips To Saving Green Long Term With Green Home Updates
Making Your Home Green to Save Money
Before you can improve your home’s efficiency, you’re going to have to know where your home is under performing.
Is the attic lacking insulation?
Are the windows leaking?
How many cracks and crevices need to be caulked or otherwise sealed?
It’s not easy to see these things with your naked eye, otherwise someone else would have already caught them long ago. Instead, an energy auditor will use specialized tools like infrared cameras to find the hidden energy loss you’re trying to correct. Often, you can have an energy audit completed by your utility company at low or no cost, but even if you need to find your own pro, it’s worth the minimal cost.
Spending Green on Green Upgrades
With energy audit in hand, you get to decide what upgrades, if any, are in your budget today or tomorrow. Some upgrades you’ll be able to tackle on your own with no problem and will save you green long term:
Swapping out light bulbs:
Changing out your light bulbs is a small thing, but it’s also additive in nature. If one incandescent light bulb costs $4.80 per year to power, then swapping it for a much more expensive LED that costs $1.00 per year to operate seems like not much of a savings. But if you consider the 10 recessed bulbs in your kitchen alone, plus the five in your bedroom ceiling fan, four in the living room, two in the dining room and so forth, the savings can really add up. Also, keep in mind that LEDs are rated for a 25,000 hour lifetime, where old fashioned incandescent light bulbs are only expected to live for about 1,000 hours.
Buying new appliances:
There’s really no question that older appliances use a lot more energy and water than newer ones — especially when the older appliance is not an Energy Star rated unit. From refrigerators to washers and dryers, each and every appliance in your home contributes to your overall energy usage. In fact, you may be able to get rebates or credits from your utility company for upgrading particular appliances, since your contribution helps reduce the strain on already overtaxed power plants and sometimes limited water supplies.
Sealing air leaks:
Grab a caulk gun, a can of spray foam and get to it. Your energy auditor identified the areas that are leaking, now you only need to seal them up. Caulk is good for small, consistent gaps no more than about ¼ inch wide, like areas where trim meets the wall. Spray foam is awesome for big holes where cables and wiring go into the living area. Caution: if you’ve never used spray foam before, practice a little bit ahead of time. It can be tricky to gauge just how much is appropriate because of the incredible way it expands.
When your energy audit says you don’t have enough insulation, you need to get more. It’s really pretty simple. Batt insulation, the type that comes in a bag or on a roll, is the easiest for homeowners to DIY, especially in an attic. You just buy the roll, unroll the roll and secure it. All done! Mind the wires and recessed lighting.
Adding a smart thermostat:
Your home is getting smarter, but your thermostat is still a C student. That’s okay, it’s not too late to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system with better climate management. Choose any of a wide range of smart thermostats from manufacturers like Honeywell, EcoBee and Nest, then follow the simple installation instructions. As these thermostats are taught your schedule, they can raise or lower the temp in your home to reduce energy usage when no one is home. They’re also handy for those chilly mornings when you don’t want to get out of bed because it’s cold. Just grab your smartphone and raise the temperature accordingly!
Small Changes can add a lot of Green to your wallet and make your home more attractive to future potential home buyers. Remember, whether you currently own a home or thinking about purchasing a home, everybody wins when a home goes Green!!!
Being the CEO and Team Leader of Team Caropreso, Vince specializes in Listings, Marketing, REO/Foreclosures,Short Sales and working with Investors. With 19 years of experience and selling over 700 hom....