Does going green at home save you money? And do you have to suffer when doing it?
Living in a non-energy efficient home isn’t fun. Temperature fluctuations make you shiver all day and sweat all night, your electric bills fly through the roof, and you could even be endangering the livelihood of your loved ones — especially if you have young children or elderly family members living with you.
Thanks to government regulations, home builders are now required to put thousands of additional dollars into new construction to make sure houses are ENERGY STAR-certified. In other words, new homes are required to be eco-friendly, safe, and easier on your wallet.
Even if you aren’t on the market for a new home, many of the green features being added to new construction can be applied to the home you currently live in.
Green Is Good for Everyone
“Going green” is often associated with being more expensive, but when it comes to your home, the money you spend today will pay off in the long run.
For example, installing energy-efficient windows could save you $400 a year. Low-flow sinks, toilets, and showers could save you another $100, and installing a programmable thermostat could cut an additional $150. These small changes alone can put at least $650 back into your pocket annually.
Aside from financial benefits, having a green home provides peace of mind. You’ll sleep better knowing you’re doing your part in saving the environment. Your mind will be at ease when you’re laying your child down to sleep, confident your house will maintain a consistent temperature throughout the night.
Green Tweaks for Your Home
Here are three green features that will turn your home into an oasis of energy efficiency:
- Thermal enclosure system: The average home has a half-mile worth of cracks, holes, and gaps in it. That’s why your air conditioner runs nonstop and you’re still sweating. A thermal enclosure system involves installing high-performance windows and new insulation and sealing up cracks.
- High-efficiency appliances: Upgrading your heating and cooling equipment and installing a programmable thermostat will save you hundreds of dollars every year — and you’ll stop cringing every time the air kicks on because you’ll know it’s not draining your wallet. For appliances that run 24/7 — like your refrigerator — it only makes sense to have those that are both eco- and wallet-friendly. ENERGY STAR-certified appliances use upward of 40 percent less energy than their non-green counterparts.
- Water management system: By ensuring precipitation and other moisture are properly routed away from your house, you’ll protect your roof, walls, and foundation from water damage and mold. In the end, your home will last longer, and the air you and your loved ones breathe will be cleaner.
If you’re not sure where to begin on your quest to green living, consider conducting an energy audit to identify where you need the most help. There are some awesome thermal imaging cameras out there that can help you identify your hot (and cold) spots. If you’re the DIY type, purchase some Nelson Energy Seal, plug your leakiest areas, and see the impact it has on your monthly bills.
As the trend to turn your house green continues to grow, chances are that more and more energy-efficient options will emerge in the coming years. Don’t let the immediate costs intimidate you; it won’t take long for your long-term savings to outweigh your short-term investments. At the end of the day, your home will be safer, more comfortable, and more eco-friendly — and you get the added bonus of saving a little money in the process.