Eco-Friendly Home Investments that Last and Save

Man holding home solar panel – Image Courtesy of Pexels

With the costs of energy and living rising all the time, it pays to make some eco-friendly home investments that save money by lasting for longer. Here are some of the most practical to install.

Energy-Efficient Replacements

Depending on the age of your home, it may or not have been designed with efficiency in mind. However, even if it’s less than ten years old, there might be some energy-efficient replacements you can make. These include installing double-glazed windows and sliding glass doors. Services like Energy Shield Window & Door Company are experts at installing these. But you can also consider switching to more efficient home appliances such as modern refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers. All will save considerably on gas, water, and electricity.

Solar Panels are Great Eco-Friendly Home Investments

You might have once been put off by the cost of installing solar panels. But the expense has come down considerably over the past few years. Additionally, some governments offer incentive schemes that help with the cost or offer deductions for doing so. Of course, a larger home requires more panels and, therefore, a larger budget. But you can install solar panels on any sized home. Doing so can help reduce your electricity bills by up to 25%, meaning you could recoup the initial cost within 4 years. And they last for between 40 and 50 years!

Gray Water Recycling Tanks

Most people only think of gas and electricity when thinking of energy usage. But water is also included. Additionally, some people assume water is free, which it isn’t. In fact, in the USA alone, the average water bill is around $45 per month. This is a considerable cost when compared to quickly-rising inflation, interest rates, and food expenses. However, you can save a huge amount of money by reusing gray water. Gray water is water you don’t consume, such as dishwater and shower water. A gray water recycler can save you up to 40% per year.

Create a LEED Home

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a design policy applied to specific types of new eco-friendly homes that focuses on sustainability and minimal environmental impact. However, you can make a LEED home with some minor changes:

  • Use shade and lighter materials to counter the heat island effect. 
  • Concentrate on space efficiency rather than increasing the amount of space.
  • Install high-rated efficient heating and cooling systems.
  • Consider your home’s materials, such as NVOCs, for cleaner air quality.
  • Consider the local weather that can affect your home.

Using the shade of trees or artificial devices like awnings can reduce the amount of heat in your home, meaning you use AC far less. Although when it comes to AC, it’s best to install a high-quality system that uses less energy. Of course, these are dependent on your local climate.

Water Limiting Devices

Further to reusing gray water, you can install relatively cheap devices that limit the amount of water you use with no discernible changes. For example, you can install flow control devices on your plumbing system. These use cleverly designed internal components that use less water but don’t change the pressure. They work by decreasing the flow to dramatically cut the gallons you use across your home. Pretty much anything that water comes from can be adapted. One of the best is the shower heads, which can cut shower water usage by around 40% per day.

Eco-Friendly Home Investments Include LEDs

You’ve probably heard this a million times. But you can save substantially by switching to LED light bulbs. Although they’re a little more expensive to buy, LED light bulbs use around 75% less energy than standard ones. Additionally, they last for 50,000 hours of use. An excellent improvement over incandescent bulbs that use much more energy and last for only 1,000 hours. Further, you can use LEDs in more creative ways than standard bulbs. With smart LEDs, you can set timers, dim the lights and even change the colors if the bulb is compatible.

More Natural Light

Installing energy-saving and smart bulbs is a great way to save money. But of course, you can save even more by using the sun as much as possible. Even in winter, when the days are shorter, you can save by maximizing the natural light in your home. You can do this in numerous ways. For example, skylights are a great investment because they are insulated and constantly allow sunlight in from above. Window replacements are another great example. But you can also consider open-plan living to allow light to flood over a larger area of your home.

Summary

Eco-friendly home investments are initially expensive but pay off long-term. Some examples include upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, LEED adaptations, and using natural light.

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