Now, more than ever, people are looking for energy efficient homes and buildings when making a new real estate decision. Living in Vermont, we all know the high cost of heating during our volatile winters. While solar panels are an excellent way to help the environment and save on your heating and energy bills it can be a big, and costly commitment. We found an article by Gold Metal Service that highlights some different ways to upgrade your home or building that won't break the bank.
Did you know that the energy used by homes in the U.S. accounts for almost one-quarter of the country's overall energy consumption? Or that the average household spends upwards of $2,200 a month on utilities?
Improving your home's energy efficiency can be accomplished in several ways, ranging from inexpensive upgrades to out-of-bounds costly overhauls.
"From whole-home energy audits to simply swapping out a water-guzzling toilet, there are dozens of ways homeowners can make their homes more energy-efficient," says Mike Agugliaro, co-owner of New Jersey-based Gold Medal Service. "Even a few small changes can have a big impact on energy consumption, helping the Earth and helping to lower energy bills at the same time."
Agugliaro recommends homeowners start with these five upgrades:
1. Ceiling Fans
Installing ceiling fans in your home is a low-cost way to reduce energy consumption. On hot days, ceiling fans can cut cooling costs by up to 40 percent, and on colder days, they help circulate air, saving you up to 10 percent on heating costs.
2. LED Lights
Swap out incandescent light bulbs for ENERGY STAR®-qualified LED lights--you'll consume a whopping 75 percent less energy! LED lights also last up to 50 times longer than incandescent ones, and up to five times longer than fluorescent ones, saving you the expense of replacement.
3. Smart Thermostat
Programmable thermostats can instantly make your heating and cooling system more efficient. The latest models allow you to set temperatures for different times of day, so you aren't paying to heat or cool your home when no one is there.
4. Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters--sometimes called "on-demand"--heat water as needed. ENERGY STAR® tankless water heaters can reduce your annual water costs by up to 30 percent. They last nearly 20 years--double the lifespan of a traditional hot water heater.
5. Whole-Home Energy System
The average home is hit with over 20 energy spikes each day. These can wreak havoc on your energy bills. Prevent them from occurring with a home energy management system with surge protection.
For those who want a hand improving the energy efficiency of their homes, an HVAC, plumbing and electrical professional can assess current energy usage and recommend ways to make the home more efficient.