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Bigger Energy Efficiency Upgrades

It ain’t easy being green, but with these bigger eco-friendly upgrades, it’s absolutely worth it. Each of these upgrades is an investment that requires a lot of up-front cash. However, the long-term benefits and savings from practicing energy efficiency adds tons of value to your home, your wallet, and the world.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

From washers to dryers to dishwashers and even water heaters, there’s no short supply of energy-efficient appliances you can upgrade to. Certified Energy Star appliances cost anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the appliance.

If that feels like too much money, don’t sweat just yet. You can find and mail in Energy Star rebates that can save you hundreds of dollars. Within a few years, the savings from switching to energy-efficient appliances will pay off your initial costs.

Solar Panels

It’s a myth that solar panels only work in sunny places. On average, solar panels cost between $11,000 and $15,000 (though this depends on the size of the house and what state you’re in). 

This is a huge investment, but the 20-year savings range from $11,000 to $45,000. Plus, with net metering, any extra energy generated that isn’t used goes towards a credit on your electric bill. You can even sell your unused energy back to the utilities company.

Geothermal Heating

Installed underground, geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) are even more expensive than solar panels — usually at least $20,000, though rebates can save you around $5,000. Luckily, the savings are even higher than the initial costs.

On average, the payback time (the time it takes for your savings to match your spending) for GHP installation is 5 to 7 years. Not to mention, most GHP warranties are for 50 years and repairs are rarely needed. 

Considering heating and cooling costs (as well as the cost of HVAC repairs and replacements), GHPs are worth their weight in gold.

RealQuick: When should I not add these energy efficient upgrades?

Moving in 5-10 years or less. Solar panel savings really take effect after 20 years. GHPs and energy efficient appliances take several years as well. If you’re planning on moving in the next 5-10 years (or sooner), you may want to rethink these energy efficiency upgrades.

Buying, not building. For GHPs in particular, it can cost much more to install if you already bought a house. While the savings might still be worth it, it’s better to add GHPs to a house you’re building, if you can.

Working appliances. Appliances don’t last forever, and they are expensive. If your appliances are working well, there’s really no need to ditch them and spend the money for something new. Granted, you can always sell your current appliances if you’re deadset on something more eco-friendly to offset costs.

An eco-friendly house is expensive at first, but it can massively help your finances in the long run. Not to mention, an eco-friendly house is a top commodity on the real estate market. Making these investments adds tremendous value to your home when you’re ready to sell, and when that day comes, RealtyHive is ready to help. Put your eco-friendly home for sale with a RealtyHive time-limited event today!

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Saving the environment is on everyone’s minds. Taking the time to make your home energy efficient not only helps the planet, but it lessens the costs of being a homeowner. Find out how you can improve your home’s performance with these energy efficient upgrades.

RealQuick: How does using less energy make a difference?

We all know that using less gas and other eco-friendly measures help the environment, but how?

Imagine a jar of flour. Once you’re out of the flour, you need more. At first you can just walk to the grocery store, but soon the store is out of flour, and soon after that you need to drive further and further away to find some.

If you use all the flour at once, you’ll suddenly have to drive hours to get some. This will cost you gas money and take lots of time. You’d be upset if you found your kids playing with it — not only is it messy, but in this scenario, it’s wasteful. You would only use flour when you really needed it.

Energy is similar to flour.

Most of our energy resources are nonrenewable. When we run out of fossil fuels, we will have no more left. Unlike flour, however, fossil fuels are bad for the environment.

When we’re unaware of our energy consumption, we end up wasting precious resources. This not only causes unnecessary damage, but it also means more energy is needed to produce and transport energy.

Being as energy efficient as possible makes a difference for the planet by consuming fewer resources. It also makes a difference in our wallet — homeowners can save more than $1,000 every year with some of these simple changes.

Replace your lightbulbs.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are 75 percent more efficient and last six times as long as regular light bulbs. CFLs save you money with their energy efficiency, but the savings don’t stop there. Since they last longer, you save money by not having to buy new bulbs as frequently.

Homeowner Savings: Up to $200 a year.

Get a power strip.

Did you know that even when you turn off electronics, they still draw energy if they’re plugged in? This costs homeowners about $100 a year by keeping things plugged in. 

Get a power strip with a switch, and get in the habit of turning it off (or unplugging it). Since you don’t use your TV, game console, or other electronics during the day or late at night, you could save a lot with this simple step.

Homeowner Savings: Up to $100 a year.

Install a ceiling fan.

It’s common for most people to turn on the AC when it’s hot (and if you’re in Arizona, California, or another warm state, we don’t blame you). But by using a ceiling fan instead of an air conditioner, you can save money and use much less energy.

Ceiling fans often come with switches that change the direction of airflow in a room. Even in the winter, a fan can help warm a room, meaning you can rely on your home’s heating less.

Homeowner Savings: AC costs an average of $.36 per hour, ceiling fans cost $.01 per hour. Use fans only when you’re in the room, since fans only cool you, not the room.

Insulate your windows.

Double pane windows are expensive — usually anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per window — but they serve as a great form of insulation and prevent air leakage.

However, there’s an even cheaper option that can still help you save. Purchase window insulation kits (typically less than $15) and apply them to your windows in fall. Insulating your windows means your heating systems don’t have to work as hard to function.

Homeowner Savings: Some estimates show $20 per year, per window.

In our next blog, we’ll cover some of the bigger energy efficiency upgrades you can make. Until then, consider these 5 helpful tips to lower your energy bill when working from home. Making your home energy efficient saves you money and helps the planet, but there’s another benefit we’ve yet to mention: adding value to your home. 

When you’re ready to sell your home, these smaller changes have a lasting impact and make your home more desirable to buyers. Put your eco-friendly home on the market with a RealtyHive time-limited event, and see results sooner.