Tips that are good for the planet... and you!
 

Today is Earth Day! Here we offer a variety of tips for homeowners.

As we wrote in a previous blog Most Americans Want Eco-Friendly Homes, the desire to be eco-friendly has increased dramatically in recent years, and homeowners are realizing an increase in home values.

HOME BUYER'S WISH LIST

Home buyers' wish lists are topped with requests for Energy-star ratings and homes built green-friendly. In the highly anticipated survey released in February by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), researchers found that Energy-star rated appliances are most coveted, with a close second choice of energy efficiency in the laundry room. Luxury home builders are already renovating homes that are perfect for such discriminating preferences.

"Nine out of ten buyers would rather buy a home with energy-efficient features and permanently lower utility bills than one without those features that costs 2 percent to 3 percent less," the home buyer survey highlighted.

THE HIDDEN COST OF HOME ENERGY USE

By improving your home's energy efficiency, you can profit in four ways: save money, improve your life, and help the earth — making your home safer and more comfortable.

Many people believe that their car is the largest single source of air pollution for which they are personally responsible. But in fact, the average home causes the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide—the principal greenhouse gas—as the average car. This is because most of the energy consumed in our homes is produced by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. This pollution is actually a hidden cost for the energy we use, over and above the dizzying $241 billion Americans spend each year on their home energy bills!

Go Green... save energy, save money, increase your home value, and get energy-efficiency tax credits!

Much of this energy use is unnecessary because there are a variety of proven, widely available products on the market today (heating, cooling, appliances, windows, lighting, etc.) to drastically reduce your home's energy bills, and accompanying pollution. What's more, many of these products actually improve the comfort and livability of your home. One such product we have found to be highly effective is the Nest thermostat.

PROJECTS TO KEEP YOUR ENERGY BILLS OUT OF HOT WATER

We are all guilty of using a little too much hot water in our daily lives -- whether it is spending an extra two minutes in the shower, leaving the water running while washing dishes or washing clothes on hot water instead of cold. Taken together, these habits of wasting water add up. So it is no surprise that water heating accounts for 14-18 percent of homeowners’ utility bills. If you are looking for ways to save on water heating costs, you have plenty of options.

Water Heaters 101

For long-term investments, consider purchasing an energy-efficient water heater. Whether you're looking at tankless water heaters or considering solar, the new Energy Saver 101 lays out the different types of water heaters on the market and will help you figure out how to select the best option for your home.

Click to view the Energy Saver 101 slide show
Read the full article Projects to Keep Your Energy Bills Out of Hot Water

BENEFITS TO ADDING SOLAR PANELS

Solar Panels Will Save the Planet and Make You Rich

Read the full article 7 Ways Solar Panels Will Save the Planet and Make You Rich.


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