User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

How to Modify Your Home With Energy Efficient & Green Modifications

It won't be too long before the cold blast of winter starts hitting the side of the house. The frosty months are that time of the year when home energy bills can start climbing and cause a strain on family budgets. This is the time to start looking seriously at ways to curb cost of energy. The green movement is a great place to investigate. In efforts to become more ecologically friendly, there is a movement towards what can actually cut some of the energy costs, while saving the environment at the same time. Solar paneling on the roof is no doubt one of the centerpieces of green homes. It permits the rays of the sun to warm up the house and drive heating bills down to the ground. This type of home improvement, however, may be a little bit too radical or too drastic for some homeowners. Not to worry, there are other possibilities.

energy star logonstallation serves to keep outside temperatures in the great outdoors. It permits a house to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer, without heavy energy use. If the house is in need of paint job, simply painting the roof white will prevent outdoor heat from being absorbed. Windows can be energy efficient and owners of older homes have noticed a drop in utility bills when modern, more environmentally conscious, windows have been installed. Appliances such as refrigerators that are more than twenty years old have a reputation for draining household energy. Replacing them with models that are designed to conserve electricity really saves the dollars. Energy Star is a joint program of the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency. Appliances with an Energy Star approval are designed specifically to conserve energy.

Old furnaces also waste considerable amounts of energy and ought to be replaced. Homeowners might hesitate because the expense but there is a tax credit available for installing an efficient gas furnace. Something to keep in mind is that installing a furnace is not a DIY project. While the furnace itself can be easily purchased, and the Energy Star seal of approval makes getting the tax credit a lot easier, installation itself should be left up to a professional.

Not every homeowner is in a green state of mind. For these people there is another reason to consider modifications that conserve energy: marketability. There are signs the housing market is slowly coming back to life and that the asking price for a house will start to increase. Homeowners in the meantime can make their house more appealing by installing energy savers. These can then be turned into a nice promotion for the property and attract buyers who are either cost-conscious, environmentally friendly, or both.

A homeowner can literally find dozens of energy-saving ideas just by walking through the house. It could be as simple as energy-saving light bulbs, or more extensive work such as replacing the old HVAC system with one that is more energy conscious. However, most people do not have the time or the knowledge to create environmentally friendly environment in an existing dwelling. An energy assessment by a professional trained in home modification strategies can point a person in the right direction. The homeowner should not be stymied by the cost of the recommendations. Time after time it has been proven that changes pay for themselves in a matter of a few years, and then go on to provide benefits in reduced utility bills.

So far, the discussion has been about the savings to a homeowner. Perhaps the greatest benefit of more energy efficiency is the impact on the environment. Pollution and global warming are problems that simply will not go away. These challenges have to be addressed and there has to be a means of reducing carbon footprints. Energy efficient modifications to a house are an excellent way for any homeowner to do his or her part to make housing more energy sensible and environmentally friendly.

---

Jared Diamond is a contributor with Home Star Search, a nationwide resource of listings and information for rent to own homes. Jared writes on topics ranging from environmental friendliness to personal finance.