Cost-Cutting, Eco-Friendly Upgrades for Your Home
Want to save money on your energy bill? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could save up to 30 percent making efficiency upgrades.
While some homes are built with eco-conscious amenities from the ground up, other homeowners search for ways to upgrade their existing homes. Whichever green category you fall into, there are plenty of ways to go green while leveraging cost-cutting upgrades at the same time. Here’s how to get started.
Switching to ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes washers and refrigerators are about 20 percent more efficient than standard models, the U.S. Department of Energy reports. They also note that qualified dishwashers use about 5.8 gallons of water per cycle or less, while older models purchased before 1994 use over 10 gallons for the same cycle. The water savings can lessen your impact on the environment while giving your water bill a boost.
Replacing some of your appliances could cost several hundred dollars or more depending on how much of an investment you’re looking to make. Make sure you ask about warranties, or look at a home warranty from a company like TotalProtect to cover your investment and get your appliances quickly replaced or repaired.
Trading out your old light bulbs for LED and compact fluorescents can help your quest to go green. Your electricity consumes up to 25 percent of the average home energy budget. While there’s more in your home consuming electricity than just light bulbs, changing them can still make a big difference. The electricity used from a single incandescent bulb ultimately costs up to 10 times the original purchase price of a compact fluorescent light bulb.
Take it a step further and automate your lighting with smart bulbs or smart switches. With the help of your home WiFi and your smartphone, you can adjust your lights as needed whether you’re home or not.
Rainwater harvesting system
The EPA estimates that the average family uses 320 gallons of water each day, with 30 percent devoted to outdoor use like watering lawns and gardens. An old barrel can be turned into a rain catch system to help water your lawn, plants and wash down your patio or deck. The EPA recommends a WaterSense irrigation system that can tailor watering schedules to local weather conditions. In all, a family could save 9,000 gallons of water annually.
Switching to a high-efficiency water heater can shave upwards of 25 percent off your annual utility bill, Quicken Loans reports. Some water heaters even qualify for a federal tax credit. ENERGY STAR lists that your tax credit could be 10 percent of cost up to $500 or a specific amount from $50 to $300. If you’re not ready to trade in your hot water heater, invest in a hot water tank blanket. Adding this insulation could save between 4 and 9 percent in water heating costs.
Every smalls step we take to help save our planet and our own health will help ensure a healthier safer future for our children! Take action today and make at least one small change to conserve water, energy, and money. What are you going to do this Spring to help our environment and planet? Let me know in the comments!