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McCourt Real Estate Blog

5 Cheap and Not so Cheap Ways to Green Your Home

June 12th, 2009 1:23 PM by Caren McCourt-Crane

Everyone's talking about "going green".  And, I'm excited to say that Midland College will soon offer a class about "How to Go Green for Your Business".  So, I thought I would give some helpful hints on how to "Go Green for Your Home" without having to do a redesign.

The Not So Cheap:

5) Install new energy efficient appliances. A typical home's electricity bill is $100 per month. The EPA estimates that approximately 18% of a home's energy usage comes from appliances. Installing new energy efficient appliances use 25% less energy then a 10 year old appliance. In more real terms that means a home can save at least $5 a month from installing new energy efficient appliances. For Realtors, you won't be able to sell your clients on replacing appliances based solely on monthly energy savings, but it can certainly be part of your sales addition to adding to the aesthetic value of the home.

4) If installing new hardwood floors, opt for Bamboo. Why do you ask.....simply put Bamboo grows to its full size in about 4 years while other woods used for flooring take approximately 75 years.

3) Insulate your home again(especially good for homes built before 1960)....although an initial cost outlay it can save you 20% on your monthly gas/electric bills. Check to see if your home has attic insulation as most do not-this is a great place to start!

2) Save water by installing tank-less hot water heaters, aerators on sinks and low flow toilets.

1) Install solar panels on the roof. Yes it is by far the most expensive option-but how would $5 electric bills for life sound? Additionally if federal law begins to require power companies to pay for excess electricity your clients could be receiving a monthly check from the power company. I would also advise you to look into both state and local resources for financing. For example San Diego now offers 0% loans for solar installations in addition to the generous tax breaks from both the state of California and the federal government.

The Cheap Ways:

5) Replace all regular light bulbs with incandescent bulbs. The average incandescent bulb saves about $30 in energy over it's lifetime.

4) Plant a tree, or two and a herb garden if the backyard allows.

3) Lower your hot water temp to 120 degrees from the standard 140.

2) Install efficient shower heads. The average efficient shower heads saves a family $21 a year on average in water bills.

1) Use surge protectors(attached to outlets that turn on/off as you enter rooms) to turn off all appliances when they are not being used. Approximately 15% of all power consumed in the United States is used by appliances when they are not being used. Does that big screen TV really need to be generating a bigger electricity bill all day while you're at work?

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Posted by Caren McCourt-Crane on June 12th, 2009 1:23 PM



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