Is a renovation or update on the horizon? Go green to save green ($)!
According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, residences within the U.S. utilize about 21% of the nation’s energy. The entire nation! That’s quite a chunk; almost a fifth of all of the energy used within everything comprising our country. Think about all of the other places people are and spend time at when they aren’t at home. Let’s cover some ways to save your surroundings, but also ways to save the green in your wallet.
First off, the major factors when it comes to a residential setting & energy consumption are:
- Gas (if applicable)
Just think of all of the monthly bills associated with your house, most of them probably fall within one of the categories listed above.
Heating and Cooling Savers:
There is a new type of thermostat available (called Nest) that is controlled via a smartphone application! Nest is capable of connecting with a home’s Wi-Fi to sense when climate control is necessary and when it isn’t in your home (like a typical thermostat would). This newfangled device offers a one-step-up option from a typical thermostat. More precise control over temperature settings in a house can make a big difference. Even without a thermostat like Nest, there are programmable thermostats available that enable you to set specific temperatures for a room(s). So, once a temperature is low or high enough, either the heat or the air conditioning will kick on. Be sure to note that a home must have a central air cooling system for this to work properly.
As you can probably imagine, today’s appliances are kept up to speed just as much as the newest computer or tablet. These ‘smart’ appliances are another money and energy saver combined. Granted, they most likely cost a bit more than run of the mill products initially, in the long run, every penny is worth it.
Choosing to use LED lightbulbs or CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) in lighting fixtures offer options that produce less heat and last longer than regular lightbulbs.
Among all the other cool stuff, there’s the battery! The battery you ask; what’s so special about a battery? This battery connects to your home’s electrical system. The Powerwall Tesla Home Battery stores solar energy collected during the daytime. Then, the energy can be utilized by night, when most people are at home after work or school. Without the solar panels, the battery will still store backup energy if you ever lose power, sort of like a generator.
A giant, humongous culprit of high water consumption is the toilet. Many older toilets use up to 3.5 gallons of water per flush–that’s a lot of water! That’s equivalent to 56 cups of water! Many modern, low-flow toilets use way less water than older models. When they first appeared on the market, the low flow toilet left some consumers worried about cleanliness. For some too, the lesser amount of water pressure was also a concern. Not to fear, manufacturers continue to improve on the low-flows performance and cleanliness.
A tankless water heater. What a clever idea – the use of an electric coil heats water as it passes through as opposed to heating a tank with water in it. Nonetheless, when heating water in a water heater, if all the water in the tank is not used, it’ll get reheated for the next use and, BAM! It continually reheats the water. This is a waste of time and energy. What if, by chance, the tank runs out of heated water for the next user and he or she has to use cold water? That’s really no fun.
Other handy dandy savers that fit under any category:
If building or remodeling is on your horizon, energy-efficient windows, sustainable materials such as flooring, countertops and proper insulation can make a world of difference. Just be sure that everything you pick out is installed correctly to actually utilize the energy-savers properly!
The way a yard is landscaped can affect, you guessed it, a home’s energy consumption. This is an incredibly smart way to approach yardwork and landscaping, whether you have a new home or not. Picking out trees native to your area ensures good surroundings for the natural wildlife as well as proper growth within the area’s climate. Placing trees that lose their leaves in the winter on the western and southern sides of a house will create a setting for sunlight to shine in/on and heat it during the winter. As for the summer, the leaved tress will provide shade for these areas as well as create a shaded ground, preventing the need to water and maintain that portion of the yard.
-Kalli, a support staffer at Select, works on the web, assists agents, customers and designs some stuff
This inspiration for this blog post and certain pieces of information in it, courtesy of: Realty Times: ‘Why a Smarter Home is a Greener Home,’ written by a Realty Times staff member and HowStuffWorks.com: ‘Top 10 Ways to Make Your New Home Green,’ written by Danielle Fisher.