11 Ways to Make Your Colorado Home More Energy Efficient -Part III
11 Ways To Make Your Colorado Home More Energy Efficient -Part III
Upgrade your appliances If it's been a while since you looked for a new washer, dryer, dishwasher, or refrigerator, then you might be surprised by how far they've come in terms of energy and water usage. Many appliances are now Energy Star certified, meaning they're more energy-efficient and "green" than their traditional counterparts. When the time comes to upgrade, take yourself online or to a showroom floor and look at how the replacement appliance measures up in terms of energy usage and cost, which can help you make an informed decision about whether spending a little more money now is going to lower your other bills for years to come.
Tune up your furnace and air conditioning once a year
This might be as simple as replacing the filters and as complicated as getting full service from a professional. Look at your furnace every fall and your air conditioner every spring to make sure your systems are performing at top efficiency, which will likely save you money.
Replace your desktop with a laptop
These days, laptop computers are just as powerful and often a lot more convenient than a desktop. You can get a laptop stand for your desk and use a wireless mouse and keyboard to get the full desktop experience, but running a laptop takes less energy even with similar accessories. Plus, you have the luxury of packing up your entire computer in a single bag.
Replace your windows Windows are wonderful for letting in light and breezes, but when it comes to the warm or cold temperatures you've cultivated inside your house, windows are literal holes to the outside that will render useless your efforts to be comfortable. Your windows should be well-sealed and draft-free, and sometimes there's nothing you can do to ensure that but replace them. It's expensive, but you might be surprised how much your windows were contributing to the heating or cooling bill once you've taken the plunge and replaced them.
A tree on the south side of your house can provide shady relief, both inside and out during the summer months. It's an investment that can take a while to mature, but if you know you're going to be in the house for a while, then planting and caring for some trees around your house will increase your curb appeal while simultaneously making it a more pleasant place to live.
Add a roof ridge vent
For attics that collect and trap a lot of heat, a roof ridge vent can be the perfect way to encourage that heat to escape and never return. Ridge vents keep the attic protected from the elements but allow warm air to exit the attic, and if you're already getting your roof redone, they could be the perfect solution to a too-hot upstairs floor.
Buy a wind turbine
Like solar panels, wind turbines can offset some of your own energy costs, and they're usually lower-profile than solar panels. Popping a wind turbine on your roof can generate energy all day, every day, but the return on the investment is going to be highest in homes that usually get a lot of wind, so talk to neighbors (and maybe that energy auditor) to see if they make sense for you.
Use concrete for counters or floors
If you're a fan of the industrial look and it's time to remodel or build, then you might consider concrete floors and countertops. It's relatively cheap and easy, requires no mining or tree-felling, and is one of the greenest options available on the market (plus, just think of how good those floors will feel on a hot summer day).
Replace toilets with low-flow versions
Every time you flush a toilet, the older versions use gallons of water to clear the bowl. There are a lot of newer models on the market that are low-flow or even have different flush options for water usage on the same toilet. Low-flow toilets are one of those changes that don't feel like a sacrifice but yield savings on your water bill nonetheless.
Green lawns look nice, but they use a lot of water, fertilizer, and weed-killer to maintain that green, lush look. Many homeowners are turning to xeriscaping as a way to retool their outside space so that it still looks nice -- and natural -- but doesn't require a sprinkler to keep up. Talk to a landscaper about your lawn options and see whether it makes sense to revamp your lawn with some plants and gravel to replace the grass. It looks just as nice (sometimes nicer) and requires a lot less manual labor to maintain.
Use a manual push mower
If your grass grows quickly it will need to be mowed regularly. One greener alternative to a riding mower or a motorized push version is an old-fashioned manual push mower. Enjoy getting a workout while you mow!
The key to making your home more energy-efficient can involve simple things like turning off water to rarely used sinks and toilets, or as complicated and involved as replacing appliances and installing solar panels. Figure out your ideal level of investment and take things one step at a time. Eventually, you will have a "greener" home that saves money without sacrificing comfort.
For additional information or should you be looking to buy or sell real estate, please contact Aspire Homes Colorado at 719-430-4440.