Environmental concerns have driven demand for sustainable living solutions. Eco-friendly solutions come in many shapes and forms, but one of the best ways to make an impact is by improving your energy efficiency. Many options on the market can not only help you improve your home's eco-friendliness, but many can also save you money! Here are some of the most popular upgrades that homeowners are installing in their homes!
Making Your Energy Usage Smarter
When it comes to making eco-friendly improvements to your home, understanding your energy consumption is crucial. From interior lighting to heating and cooling your home, energy consumption typically makes up the largest environmental footprint in your home. Homeowners seeking to make some green improvements can install smart meters in their homes. These devices can help you monitor your electricity, energy, and/or water. Smart meters track the quality, quantity, and time of consumption - and display real-time data to you via internet connectivity. If you have other smart devices integrated into your home, your smart meter can also provide insight into how those appliances consume electricity. By understanding your consumption in real time, you can adjust your usage and ultimately lower your electricity, water, and/or heating bill.
Go Tankless in Your Home
Water heaters are a staple appliance in every home, and they ensure you have hot water when you need it, but did you know how inefficient a standard tank model is? Most standard water heaters hold 40-50 gallons of water and keep this water hot consistently so it’s ready on demand. To keep your water hot you are consuming energy 24/7 year-round. A tankless water heater is not only much smaller than a traditional one, but they heat your water instantaneously, so you only consume energy when hot water is needed. By installing a tankless water heater, you will cut your energy expenses and avoid potential water tank disasters that can cause quite a bit of damage.
Solar panels are not a new technology; however, the industry is regularly improving the efficiency of its products. Harnessing the energy found in the light rays emitted from the sun, solar panels produce quite a bit of power, and may be able to take over your entire electricity usage. Solar panels come in many options from free-standing units to roof-mounted setups, and the type of sunlight your property received will help dictate the best solution for you. There are also many different financing plans available for solar, and many include government subsidies to benefit homeowners looking to make this environmentally friendly upgrade.
Upgrade your Doors and Windows
Doors and windows are one of the primary barriers that separate your home from the harsh outdoor elements. Over time the seals on doors and windows can lose their effectiveness, letting drafts seep into your home. By replacing these items with up-to-date Energy Star-approved materials, you can drastically improve your home's energy efficiency and help you keep your dollars from flying out of your house. By effectively sealing these areas with modern-day equipment, your improvements can help you save as much as 10% on your heating or cooling bill which will help make the payoff extremely quick!
Your Home’s Bright Future
Last on our list of eco-friendly home upgrades are lighting solutions. The lighting you use at home can account for up to nearly 40% of your electricity bill. Did you know the type of lights you use can significantly alter how much energy your home needs? There are many different types of lights, from incandescent to halogens, and it can be hard to know what will work best in your home. One of the most popular options for green homes is converting all lights to LEDs. LED lights require 75% less energy than other types of bulbs, produce less heat from use, and can even last longer than other lighting alternatives. While LEDs often have a more substantial upfront cost, their payoff will quickly become apparent when you see your energy bill decrease.