6 Home Update Ideas to Reduce Your Environmental Impact

February22, 2012 by Shannalee in Solar Living

Giving your home an update does more than lift your spirits—it can cut costs and boost value. This is especially true of sustainable updates that make your home more energy efficient and cost-effective. Consider these six home improvements that minimize your environmental impact while also benefiting your bottom line!

  1. Keep Your Boiler Serviced and Up-to-Date: “Older boilers are incredibly inefficient compared with the latest models,” says architect and home show presenter George Clarke. “You should think of renewing your boiler every 10 years or so.”
  2. Add New Insulation: “A poorly insulated home loses much of its heat through the roof and the walls,” says the blog Our Everyday Earth. “Replace the old insulation with new and improved insulation to save on energy and reduce your heating bills.”
  3. Install Solar Panels: We’ve written about the financial benefits of solar panels before at Soluxe Solar, so it should come as no surprise that we recommend installing solar panels to benefit your home. Solar panels can save energy, last for decades and qualify you for tax incentives. To learn more, see our previous post, “Why Go Solar? It’s All about the Bottom Line”!
  4. Install Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs:  According to Live Science, “Because CFLs use 75 percent less energy, swapping one incandescent bulb for a CFL reduces carbon dioxide by 500 pounds a year; replacing 17 has the equivalent effect of taking one car off the road for a year.”
  5. Install Energy-Efficient Appliances: While new appliances require an upfront investment, the energy savings they provide make up for the costs in time. As Ann Archer says at MSN Real Estate, “Appliance use comprises about 18% of a typical home’s total energy bill, with the fridge being one of the biggest energy hogs. If any of your appliances is more than 10 years old, the EPA suggests replacing them with energy-efficient models that bear their ‘Energy Star’ logo.”
  6. Install a Programmable Thermostat: A programmable thermostat makes it easy to control your heating and cooling costs. Especially for people who are away from home for set periods of time during the day, it can be a convenient way to cut expenses. “Through proper use of pre-programmed settings,” Energy Star says, “a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.”

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