5 green home improvements worth your investment dollar | Herald Community Newspapers
(BPT) – Spring is in the air and brings the impulse to renovate homes. Looking for ways to upgrade your home with the environment in mind, but worried about the cost? Fortunately, many home improvements are not as expensive as they used to be, and the returns on those investments – in terms of both energy savings and the value of your home – are well worth the effort.
Here are five ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency and make a difference to the planet.
1. Choose Energy Star certified products
Do you have outdated devices that are not performing well? For an efficiency upgrade, look for the blue Energy Star label on products ranging from appliances and electronics to lighting and HVAC systems as an easy way to save money and save energy, helping to combat climate change. You can even find Energy Star windows, which can make a difference to the comfort of your home as well as lower energy costs. For added value, appliances with the Energy Star designation “Most Efficient” emphasize products that offer advanced energy efficiency along with advanced technological innovations.
2. Update your HVAC
Spring is a great time to have your HVAC system tuned by a professional to ensure peak performance and help prevent future problems. Heating and cooling costs the average homeowner about $ 875 per year, according to the EPA’s Energy Star website. If you’re still using a furnace for heat and a separate AC unit for cooling – or worse, an outdated system that relies on fossil fuels – it might be time to upgrade to something more advanced and efficient. Now, manufacturers like LG offer a wide range of HVAC systems that provide both heating and cooling in a single unit, without sacrificing energy efficiency.
At times of the year, such as spring and fall, where you are at both ends of the temperature spectrum, this type of system that can both heat and cool can be particularly beneficial. For year-round comfort and efficiency, new technologies such as LGRED (Reliable to extreme degrees) work well even if you live in the most extreme of climates. Each unit in this product line can handle cooling for very high temperatures down to 118F (where a conventional AC system could fail), as well as heating for very low temperatures. In fact, products with LGRED offer 100% heating capacity down to 5F and continuous heating down to –13F.
3. Go on solar energy
You’ve heard about solar for years, but now may be the perfect time to switch to renewable energy. Solar energy can help power your home, saving hundreds of dollars in utility bills, while also increasing the value of your home and giving you peace of mind about helping the environment.
Are you considering installing solar panels, but not sure where to start? Now you can find out what your home needs through a digital “solar caretaker, ”Who can help you explore technology and financing decisions tailored to your situation. LG’s solar concierge program will help you determine if solar energy usage is meeting your goals and, if so, how to get your installation done by a local installer. And don’t forget that not all solar panels are created equal; it is best to choose high-efficiency panels from a brand you know and trust.
4. Limit air leaks and check insulation
Closing air leaks and adding insulation can help increase comfort and energy efficiency, and can save up to 10% on your annual utility bill, according to the EPA. Pay special attention to avoiding air leakage (with simple foam insulation) when installing your window air conditioner for the summer.
Simple fixes include installing weatherstripping on doors and caulking around windows, while bigger jobs seal leaks and add insulation to your attic. Replacing outdated windows and doors that are not energy efficient and that may have cracks or leaks will improve the energy efficiency of your home. Another advantage? Brand new doors and windows can instantly enhance the look of your home.
Upgrade your bathroom fixtures
For older toilets, sinks or shower heads in your bathroom, upgrading to newer models can help you save on your water bill while also wasting much less water. In general, today’s plumbing fixtures consume less water, which is more environmentally friendly. Any improvements or upgrades to your bathroom can also help increase the value of your home.
Not sure what to do first? Many energy or utility companies offer homeowners a free energy audit. An expert comes to your home to determine the worst culprits in reducing your energy efficiency and air leakage around your home. This can help you focus your improvements on getting the best results in the fastest and most cost-effective way. Your home will feel more comfortable and you know that you are doing what you can to help the environment.