Despite what Kermit says, it really is easy being green..... at least in the Forsyth County real estate market.
With many home builders trying to reach Millennial buyers through the use of green building practices (using smart solutions to maximize a home’s efficiency and comfort while reducing its overall impact to the environment), and so many new green technologies for existing homeowners to use when updating their home, I believe that going green gets easier every day.
When most people think of making green updates to their home, their thoughts immediately go to major projects like adding turbines, or solar panels or geothermal heating units, which can seem overwhelming. The truth is, you don’t have to take on major projects to make a major difference in your family’s energy consumption. Here are a few ideas….
The obvious choices:
Replace your existing HVAC System with an Energy Star HVAC: According to Energy Star, heating and cooling your homes typically uses 43% of your overall household energy budget annually. That makes it a top priority in terms of making an upgrade to save both energy and money. When it’s time to replace your existing HVAC units, take the time to do your research and you may find that spending a little more upfront can make you money in the end through annual energy cost savings and at the time of resale.
Add Insulation and Weather Stripping: This is actually on of the easiest and most cost effective green updates you can make. Sawnee EMC, our local electric company even provides a free energy audit to help you find where you need to focus your efforts.
Double Pane Windows and High-Performance Doors: About 25% of your annual heating and cooling costs can be attributed to loss due to non-energy efficient or single pane windows. This is not an inexpensive replacement to make but, in terms of resale, this is an excellent choice if you are considering making green updates to your Forsyth County home.
Tankless Hot-Water Systems: Why heat water all of the time when you only need it occasionally? You may even be able to take advantage of a tax credit.
Programmable Thermostat: There are many new programmable thermostats on the market – some are even wifi enabled which allows you to adjust them when you are away from home. The Nest thermostat will actually learn your habits and adjust itself accordingly.
Some options you may not know about:
Smart Power Strips: These “smart power strips” are pretty amazing. They actually sense energy demand and cut off power to fully charged devices (devices that are plugged in and shut off or fully charged). These energy vampires can actually be responsible for 20% of your overall energy bill.
- Carpet made from recycled plastic bottles
- Sustainable bamboo flooring
Rain Barrels: Pretty simplistic really, but very effective. You just run your gutter water into the barrel and then use it to water your plants.
As you can see, there are many ways for the average homeowner to make cost effective green updates to their home. I hope you'll give some of them a try!