The following is a guest post by Ashley Morse of The Cooling Company
Homeowners are well aware of the strain mortgages can put on a monthly budget. Climate change concerns affecting the planet don’t make it any easier. We all want to do our part. Yet, how can an owner improve a home’s environment cost-effectively while incurring the least amount of negative impact on the environment?
5 Amazing Eco-Friendly Upgrades
It’s not as difficult as it may seem. Here are 5 ‘going green’ projects that can be implemented immediately.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL)
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) last 8-10 times longer than traditional light bulbs. While more expensive than traditional bulbs, they’ll save money over time.
For example, replacing a 100 Watt incandescent bulb with a 25 Watt CFL can save up to $75 over the life of the bulb. A package of 3 CFL light bulbs costs about $8.00. A case of 3 incandescent light bulbs will cost $7.00.
Low-flow toilets are just like they sound. They use less water, typically less than 1.6 gallons, per flush than other older, less environmentally friendly toilets.
According to the EPA, an average family can save $110 per year and 18,000 gallons of water if they replace their pre-1980 toilet with a low-flow toilet.
Older homes suffer from drafts caused by even the smallest of cracks. Houses age and are subjected to the ravages of extreme weather. Shifts in the foundation and/or warping of structural elements will naturally cause exterior damage (however minor).
Almost every house over the age of five will begin to experience cracks in window sills, doors, and roofs. These signs of aging can easily be repaired with caulk.
A simple can of caulk can alleviate most cracks and cost anywhere from $3 to $30. With a small investment, the average home can expect energy savings of up to 10-20%.
Most thermostats stay locked on the temperature set by the owner. Programmable thermostats, however, are different. They allow homeowners to set different temperatures at different times throughout the day.
For example, while the home is vacant during day, the thermostat can be set to a minimum. As the time gets closer to when the family returns, the temperature can be set to rise or lower as needed.
Programmable thermostats are easy to install and operate. Cost is around $80 to $200 on average and can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling bills.
Lower Water Heating Temperature
Though not an upgrade, lowering the water heating temperature can offer homeowners a modest savings. In most homes, the standard water temperature is 140 degrees. If lowered to 120 degrees, it can slow down mineral buildup and corrosion.
While this doesn’t cost anything the benefits are substantial. Most homes realize annual energy savings of up to 22%.
As a bonus recommendation, homeowners can investigate the possibility of upgrading to a tankless water heater. Though a tankless water heater saves money over the long term, it does require a much higher cost upfront.
Energy.gov claims that homes that use less than 41 gallons of hot water per day can save between 24-34%.
With these five, simple upgrades, homes become more energy efficient, incur less on utilities, and ensure that the planet is healthy for generations to come.
|Ashley Morse of The Cooling Company is focused on improving internal operations at the company by delivering friendly, effective, timely service as well as ensuring the satisfaction of every person she comes in contact with.|