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Creating a greener, more sustainable and more cost-effective household is a concern shared by a growing number of homeowners. Last year saw record levels of spending on home improvement and renovation projects. There are numerous home upgrades and installation options that can reduce energy consumption, allow property owners to lower the cost of their utility bills and reduce the environmental impact that homes and their occupants may be having on the natural environment. From upgrading older-model appliances to the installation of home solar-panels and environmentally-sustainable building materials, homeowners have plenty of opportunities to go green.


Energy-Efficient Appliances


Outdated appliances may be resulting in higher levels of energy consumption and usage than many home and property owners might realize. When it comes to energy-efficiency, heating and cooling costs typically account for the bulk of home electric and utility usage, but even small appliances can make a big difference. Replacing major home appliances with more energy-efficient options and upgrading even smaller appliances that may be wasting energy can play an important role in the effort to reduce consumption and lower bills. High-efficiency appliances can provide households with the opportunity to reduce energy usage without having to make changes to their day to day routine or habits.


Heating and Cooling Costs


As many as 86 percent of new home buyers interested in sustainability cite heating and cooling costs as their chief concern. Upgrading climate control systems, investing in window-mounted AC units that provide room and area-specific cooling or taking advantage of the potential energy savings that heat-pumps and other sustainable equipment options may be able to provide can significantly reduce monthly costs. Replacing outdated heating and cooling equipment, especially appliances that have been poorly maintained or may be suffering from mechanical issues, is often the single most effective way to curb household electric usage.


Sustainable Building Materials


Reducing electric consumption directly is not the only way to create an energy-smart home. Utilizing sustainable building and construction materials during a renovation or upgrade project can have numerous ecological benefits that may include reduced carbon footprints to superior home insulation. Even kitchen cabinet refinishing options and counter-top surfaces made using sustainable materials and environmentally-friendly manufacturing techniques can reduce the impact homes may be having on the natural world. Discussing various material and installation options with a professional can turn up several options that may be ideally suited for an upcoming renovation project.

Home-Solar Installations


Generating sustainable energy on-site through home-solar installations is an option that continues to grow in popularity. While the initial purchase and installation costs needed to make use of these systems may be considerable, solar-electric installations can actually pay for themselves over time by providing homeowners with the means to reduce or even eliminate their monthly utility bills. Solar installation options may not always be the best solution and output can vary depending on regional climate and equipment choices. For property owners who are serious about creating a more sustainable home, solar power is an option that is always worth considering.


Seeking Financial Assistance to Cover the Cost of Home Renovations

Grants, low-interest loans and other forms of financial assistance such as deciding a flat fee mls with a real-estate agent may be available to help cover the costs of an energy upgrade or other sustainable home improvement projects. Property owners who may be interested in remodeling their home but who may be concerned about the total costs of such a project can benefit immensely through low-interest loans and other forms of assistance. Being left with no other choice but to cover installation and other upgrade costs out of pocket can limit the range of options available or place unnecessary strain on household budgets.

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.


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