How to Save Money with an Energy Efficient Property
Saving money by making your property more energy-efficient is not a new idea, but it is one that has been gaining widespread credibility in recent years. As budgets get tighter, people are trying new ways to stretch their dollar, and since homes are usually such a large investment, making them work better is a logical step to take.
Making your home into an energy-efficient structure is one of the best ways you can save money in the long term. By reducing the amount of energy needed to make the house comfortable, you reduce the monthly utility bills and impact on the environment. Increasing the overall efficiency with which your home is heated and cooled, the way it uses and puts out water, and even how the sunlight hits the windows, you add value to the structure and do your part to keep things green.
The most desired benefit of creating an energy-efficient home is saving money. Making changes to existing homes doesn’t usually show an immediate return on the investment, but as time goes by, you will see savings each month on utilities. The amount of savings depends on the size of the change. Installing a low flow toilet will save water and lower your bill, but replacing old windows will go further towards saving on heating and cooling costs, potentially with a larger return. The size of the return is often tied to the amount invested—often, larger and more expensive projects have the highest return.
Although energy-efficient upgrades won’t have immediate financial benefits, they will be noticed in other ways. A programmable thermostat will have the house warm in the morning, tank-less water heaters will have showers ready instantly, and compact fluorescent bulbs last much longer than incandescent bulbs.
What You Can Do
There are many ways to improve your home and increase its energy efficiency. Many of the most effective ways of saving money don’t even require a project. Simple changes in habits like turning off lights and televisions when you leave the room do an enormous amount to reduce energy consumption. Taking short showers and making sure to only use laundry machines and dishwashers when there is a full load cut water and gas usage.
Switching to energy efficient appliances such as refrigerators and hot water tanks is a bigger step that will have a larger return. Installing a natural gas furnace and upgrading insulation and windows in exterior walls will maximize the thermal capacity of your home, allowing you to heat and cool it with minimal cost. Also consider in-floor heating, where warm water circulates through tubes laid below the flooring material. This is one of the most efficient ways to heat a home and is much more effective than a forced air furnace.
While creating a home that makes the best use of the energy it needs is a great way to save money, reducing the total amount that is used is the ultimate cost-cutter. Consider settling for small wireless speakers that run on batteries, and use a laptop instead of a large desktop computer. At the very least, connect home theatre systems and video game consoles to power bars that can be switched off when the system is not in use. Many modern electronics do not truly turn off, but instead, enter a sleep mode when powered down that can use almost as much power as when they are running. Managing and controlling energy use is the key to creating a truly energy-efficient home.
If you’re considering a home renovation, make sure you do your research before you begin, and plan for an update that will maximize the energy efficiency in your home.