There are many expensive and time-consuming ways to make your home or rental property more green, and they deserve your attention, but the fact is that not all of us have $15,000 to install a solar panel right now. You may, however, still be interested in both saving precious money on utility bills, and improving the value of your home for signing a sales contract or a rental agreement. Here are a few tips and ideas, to help save money and invest in your property for greater value.
1. Boost Electricity Efficiency
No investment required! To begin, make sure you replace your air filters every three months, as these filters grow both less efficient and less effective as they grow dirtier. Further, many appliances and electronics use electricity when they’re turned off, which can add up to a large proportion of your electric bill. Put these “vampires” (as they’re called in the electronics industry) on power strips, and flip the switch on the power strip instead of turning the equipment on.
2. Transition over to Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulbs
They are easy, they are cheap, they last four times as long, and they use a quarter of the power of old school incandescent light bulbs. You can buy these in bulk, on sale, and simply swap out your old bulbs as they die off one by one.
3. When Renovating Your Kitchen, Install Sustainable Finishes
Is your heart set on granite countertops? You can buy composite countertops that look and feel indistinguishable from granite, which are available in many colors and appearances (one example is IceStone), but don’t require environmentally ruinous mining. You can also buy wooden cabinets that haven’t been formaldehyde-treated, or otherwise treated with toxic chemicals, which are likewise identical-looking when you go to sign a sales contract or rental agreement on the property and are trying to market it.
4. Program Your Thermostat for Efficiency
When you’re not home, why have the air conditioning or heat cranking at full blast? Especially when you can simply program the thermostat to start cranking it about fifteen minutes before you get home, so that the house is perfectly comfortable when you get off work at five. Program your thermostat so that your house is comfortable when you’re in it, and give your appliances time off when you’re not around.
5. Insulation for your Basement Hot Water Pipes
Pipe jackets are cheap, install in about five minutes, and can save your hot water heater a lot of work. Insulate the first five to ten feet of hot water piping leading away from your hot water heater in the basement to maximize its efficiency.
6. Install a Green Deck
Why would anyone install a wooden deck when they can buy composite decking that doesn’t splinter, doesn’t rot, doesn’t warp, and doesn’t decay over time? You can buy composite decking made from recycled plastics, which saves both landfill space and trees. Alternatively, you can buy wooden planks that haven’t been treated; cedar and ipÃª woods are naturally rot-resistant and last longer than treated wood.
All of the improvements and techniques listed above are cost effective, whether instantaneously or over the course of time. Save money, improve efficiency, help reduce environmental impact, and give your home or rental property that extra marketing boost when it comes time to sign a sales contract or a rental agreement!
Brian Gregory has 1 articles online
Brian Gregory is a rental owner who uses green real estate investing techniques to help market his rental properties to help make his rental agreement appeal to high-end tenants. He also writes about real estate investing and green home improvements for such publications as NuWire Investor, EZ Landlord Forms (who provides a customizable rental agreement for each state), and his own real estate investing blog.