Summer temperatures—and inflation— are running hot this year. As fuel, food, and energy costs continue to increase, you might be searching for ways to relieve the pressure on your wallet. Have you considered going green in your home? Beyond the benefit of lowering your energy bills, an eco-friendly lifestyle could increase the resale value of your property, offer tax incentives, and reduce your carbon footprint. Are you sold? Check out these eco-friendly projects to get you started.
Upgrade your Appliances
Did you know that appliances waste 13% of the energy in your home? Upgrading refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, and even the hot water tank to more energy-efficient models is the perfect solution. While this may seem costly upfront, the price reduction to your electricity and gas bills, as well as the value updated appliances will add to your home, is worth the investment.
Switch to Solar
You’ve probably noticed that solar panels on residential homes have become more popular, particularly due to the long-term benefits coupled with renewable energy sources. According to experts, the average American spends $1,409.52 on electricity each year. That’s over $14,000 in just 10 years. But by installing solar panels, you may be able to save much of that money.
The initial cost of solar panels is jarring, but don’t get discouraged. There are numerous ways to lower installation costs, including tax credits. You might also consider solar attic fans to help keep your attic cool and ventilated, solar water heaters, or outdoor solar lighting for all your summer backyard bashes.
Try Eco-Friendly Paint or Wallpaper
Summertime always seems to spark an itch to freshen your living space. Whether you’re planning to paint or wallpaper, look for eco-friendly materials like water-based ink printed paper, milk paint, or acrylic paint. These sustainable options lack the airborne toxins often associated with the manufacturing process of other products on the market. To keep your space feeling bright and airy (with the added bonus of maximizing your home’s energy efficiency), stick to lighter colors and patterns.
Update your Windows
You might be surprised to know that just one extra layer of glass can have a substantial impact on your energy bill. Dual pane windows can reduce energy usage by up to 24% in the winter and 18% in the summer. Check out the windows in your home now. How old are they? Remember, the older they are, the poorer they work to insulate your space. While installing new windows has a high price tag up-front, the long-term benefits are among the best returns on investment you can make for your home.
The overall financial goal of eco-friendly home improvements is to save on energy costs. With a guaranteed long-term return on investment and an increase in the value of your home, you’ll be glad you went green, and so will the environment.