Many homeowners are interested in leaving a smaller carbon footprint and reducing their home's energy consumption. Not only are energy efficient upgrades useful to decrease energy bills and a homeowners reliance on energy resources, but they may also serve to improve a home's value. What are some easy and affordable ways that homeowners can get started?
Take advantage of current green energy incentives and look into a few approaches homeowners take to upgrade their homes and lower their utility bills today.
Energy Efficient Upgrades Pay
Homeowners continue to see incentives for energy efficient improvements from government and mortgage programs. Prospective owners can build green homes in Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland and other states with available tax credits. Buyers may be able to afford more when they go to purchase and make energy efficient upgrades with Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM). There are many simple and affordable ways homeowners choose to improve the energy efficiency of their home.
Purchase ENERGY STAR Appliances
Homeowners can get the latest ENERGY STAR appliances as they look to go green. When it comes time to buy a new major appliance, homeowners can look for the ENERGY STAR label. Homeowners and commercial property owners have saved an estimated $300 billion on utility bills with the use of energy-efficient appliances.
Check for Energy Leaks
Older homes can be prone to energy leaks. Drafty windows and doors, as well as poor insulation, can translate to the need for homeowners to spend more money to heat or cool their home. Improving the envelope of a home and addressing leaks can make a home more energy efficient and reduce heating and cooling costs. Take the time to seal air-leaks and consider Home Sealing as explained by the EPA.
Maintain the HVAC System
Homeowners unwilling or unable to maintain and make small repairs on an HVAC system can force their system to work harder and use more energy in the process of heating or cooling a home. Making small repairs as necessary and cleaning and maintaining the HVAC system can improve the energy efficiency of the system and potentially keep it working at an optimal level for longer.
Use Appliances Off Peak
Running a load of laundry during peak hours cost homeowners more money. Instead, use such appliance during off peak hours to save money. Make sure the dishwasher is full before running the dishwasher to reduce energy bills further. Maintaining appliances and unplugging them when not in use will also decrease energy consumption without little if any cost required by the homeowner.
Investigate Solar Panels
Not every homeowner may benefit from having solar panels installed on a home. Homes need to be in certain areas where solar panels are truly a useful option and can cut their energy costs. Check for federal tax credits, and state and local incentives to make solar panel installation an affordable option in Legacy Ridge homes and elsewhere.
Now and Later
Homeowners of older and new construction homes can benefit from smaller utility bills and can boost home value with energy efficient upgrades. Installing new energy-efficient windows and adding insulation are two improvements where homeowners can benefit both now and later as home buyers appreciate such upgrades. As demand grows for green homes, an owner who improves the energy efficiency of a home will likely see more interest in buyers when it comes time to sell.