If you’re looking for a great way to save the environment – and save money at the same time – these simple green home upgrades can make a big difference.
People often think of protecting the environment and keeping more money in your wallet as two separate things. But in many cases, they can go hand-in-hand. Many energy-saving devices are not only eco-friendly, but can also save you quite a bit on energy costs over the long run. Some changes are quite simple and inexpensive up front as well.
These 4 easy green home “upgrades” will not only save you money, but will take a good-sized bite out of your carbon footprint in the long term – proof that living green and taking care of the planet doesn’t have to be expensive!
1. Take control of the temperature.
Residential cooling and heating alone make up 20 percent of annual energy use in the United States, and many of us are guilty of heating and cooling our homes while they’re empty. Installing a “smart” thermostat, like the Nest system, costs around $250 but can save up to $145 annually…
2. Shed a little light.
…Bluetooth-enabled light bulbs can be turned on, off, and dimmed right from your phone. Bulbs like the Ilumi start at about $60 per bulb. While that may seem like a steep price for a light bulb, Ilumis last up to 20 years and are around five times more energy efficient than other bulbs. Plus, they let you easily turn off every light in your home at once, remotely.
3. Up your curb appeal.
A good shady tree can add thousands of dollars to the value of your home. Trees can also save you money on utilities, and three well-placed trees can save $100 to $250 in energy costs by cooling your home from the outside….
4. Harness the sun.
Solar water heaters are definitely an investment, ranging in cost from $2,000 to $6,000 on average… However, they can save you more than 50 percent on water heating bills, so they’ll pay themselves off in around 4 to 10 years and increase your home’s value….