Home Improvements that are Good for the Planet and Your Wallet
Depending on the long-term plan for your home, there could be a number of “green” investments you should be considering as a cost-savings plan. Those looking to live in their house for just a few short months or years might not care about the maintenance costs as much, but they are very important to those who are looking to stay in their homes for the long run.
We have all been affected by the rise in the price of electricity, natural gas, water, and all of the other necessary utilities we pay for. However, instead of petitioning your local government leader, which more often than not is proved ineffective, take matters into your own hands. For years, environmentalists have been hard at work developing systems that save the planet by using less water, producing less electricity, and disturbing less natural habitat for mining and sourcing of other resources we often use in our homes without thinking. However, the time is nigh for us economists, (if we can call ourselves that) to get on board. Using less usually means paying less, am I right? On top of that, there are many financial incentives at the local and state level for embracing environmental retrofits in our homes.
Though some of these are better suited for large homes or institutions, many of these environmental solutions can be adapted to fit your home, and save you money over the years.
- Solar Panels
Many rule off solar panels as expensive, however, due to their popularity and the growing market, the price of solar systems has gone down significantly over the last ten years. Today, many individuals can afford to install a couple of panels on their roofs, especially when you take into account government subsidies. Depending on the climate you are located in and the space you have on your property, you can virtually decrease your electricity bill by half, or in some cases, be completely self-sufficient and sell the extra electricity you produced back into the grid.
- Hydronic Heating
Heating bills can get quite high in places with a harsh winter. Instead of paying for heating the air in your house, why not install a hydronic system which heats your home by circulating warm water under your floors. This gives the residents better control over the temperature of their house, as well as eliminating noise. Thanks to the fact that you are not pushing air around through a ventilation system, it’s also a cleaner and healthier alternative to traditional heating. Consult with plumbers specializing in hydronic heating system to have a better understanding of what this retrofit will mean for you financially. You’ll spend less money because you are getting a more efficient heating system, and the environmentalists in you will smile because fewer resources are being used and you still have the same result: a cozy home!
- Roof Smart
We all know that roofs have a limited lifespan- especially the tar shingle ones which most people tend to use in North America. However, though the immediate cost might be greater, there is a solid range of high-quality options which will not just last you longer, but will make your home more energy efficient by reducing thermal transfer, reflecting solar rays, and therefore providing lower heating and cooling costs.
- Low-Water Toilets
Have you ever really looked at a toilet and wondered why there was so much water in the bowl? Environmentalists certainly have! When you replace your regular toilet with a low water toilet, you literally stop flushing money away. And if you are worried about making sure that everything “goes down”, be comforted by knowing that for situations like that, there is an option for flushing with a fuller stream.
Staying green certainly pays off if you’re in it for the long run! If you are looking at shorter timelines, remember that these efficiencies are selling points for your home and add to its resale value, whether you continue to live where you are or not.