The Importance of Green Homes for Sustainable Energy
If you live in an older home, you are probably facing issues with energy efficiency and energy savings. The good news is that these issues do not have to be a burden to you forever. There are strategies for sustainable energy, or green energy, that can be implemented into a house that is older so it can reap the benefits of greener living.
Consider these tips if you are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time.
Solar Panels for the Rooftop
Civil engineers have long touted the benefits of using solar panels for energy conservation; long before it became trendy. It is now proven that solar energy is the best way to reduce the need of using fossil fuels for energy.
Thus, greenhouse emissions will also be reduced. Local, state and federal government agencies have a wide range of policies regarding the installation of solar panels on the roofs of residential structures. It is important to inquire about the regulations in your area before consulting with a graduate of an online MCE program.
Despite the initial investment, there are several tax rebate programs that you may qualify for once you have installed these panels on your home. These rebates are designed to not only save money on your energy bill, but some homeowners have had their entire energy bill eliminated after receiving these rebates.
The way the rebate will benefit you will depend on your individual household situation. For example, the amount you save will depend on how much solar energy you will be giving to the energy grid in excess after your household has consumed enough energy for its needs. There are some states that provide grants for residences to help offset the cost of the solar panel installation so it can be completed quicker.
Solar Water Heater
It may not always be necessary to install solar panels in order to enjoy the benefits of solar energy. A solar water heater can be installed in the home to reduce energy costs. The added advantage is that solar water heaters do not require as high of an initial investment as solar panels.
In addition, the installation costs associated with a solar water heater can be recouped faster than the costs that are associated with photovoltaic technology. This is due to the fact that solar water heaters are more efficient and there are less expenses associated with this type of system when compared to the size of a solar array that is needed to power a home.
What is the first image that comes to mind when you hear the words ‘wind generator’? Most people probably think of a large windmill farm located offshore, or in the plains across the Midwest. However, were you aware that homeowners can buy smaller sized wind generators for their homes?
The cost can vary for home wind generators. There are some homeowners who have built wind generators using products off of the shelves of hardware stores. Then, there are other homeowners who have bought kits or have hired professionals to install these generators to supplement the electricity they are receiving from their local power grid.
The production capabilities of these types of wind generators can vary almost as much as the investment. Kit based wind generators will generally only produce enough energy to offset up to 15% of home energy costs. On the other hand, wind generators that are more expensive may cost over $30,000 to install and purchase. However, these generators can offset energy costs for you home by 90%.
Energy Star HVAC
Over 40% of total yearly energy costs for an average American home goes towards the heating and cooling of the home. Energy Star has stated that the average HVAC system that is used to heat and cool homes in America is at least 10 years old, and homeowners pay 30% more a year just to maintain and operate these older HVAC systems. With homeowners paying an average of $1000 a year for heating and cooling, an older system will cost you a lot more than a current, energy efficient model.
Double Pane Windows
Energy can escape through single pane windows, or windows that are not adequately sealed. In fact, over 20% of yearly heating and cooling expenses can be attributed to the use of non-energy efficient windows.
Double pane windows are more expensive, and installing these windows around your home will be costly. The estimated cost for one double pane window is $600, but when considering that by installing these windows can save you $500 or more a year in your energy bill, you can understand why double pane windows are considered good investments.
Choose Fluorescent Lighting Instead of Incandescent Lighting
The lighting industry has realized that not only do homes need to be brighter, the industry needs to also ensure the products they provide are energy efficient. Generally, you should purchase and use CFLs whenever possible. They do not need as much electricity as the older types of lighting products such as incandescent lights.
Create a Way for Your Home to be Naturally Cooled
Try to use less electricity through central air conditioning units, A/C window units and fans by creating pathways in the home that will allow the natural flow of air and light into the home. By working with an online civil engineering graduate and a contractor, you can create a design for window repairs to the house that will allow the warmth from the sun and the cool wind to enter the house when necessary. This will help to reduce your home’s dependency on air conditioning and lights. The more you use these energy appliances in the home, the more you can save on your electricity bill.
Those who work in the energy conservation industry are qualified professionals who have the knowledge, skills and insight in how to create greener homes. They can give you the advice you need to make your home more energy efficient.
Image credit: seagul
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