Green Savings: Energy Upgrades to Improve your Finance

Buying a house can be a great investment. However, the security of owning a house also comes with additional expense of maintaining it . Most of us are on the lookout for ways to save money, and thankfully there are many projects of varying sizes that homeowners can do to save both energy and money.

1.Install Programmable Thermostats

energy_upgradesThese devices allow you to digitally program the temperature you’d like to maintain at your home  for a set periods of time. This simple, inexpensive upgrade can save up to $150 per year depending on the size of your home. Some home automation systems (smart homes) can actually manage your energy usage as well by similarly dropping the heat during programmed periods like when you are at work, and they can allow you to remotely turn off appliances from your smartphone, computer, or tablet.

2.Low Flow Water Fixtures

Low flow shower heads and faucets are an inexpensive upgrade that can reduce water consumption by 30-50%. Between reduced water use and hot water heating, this can amount to $50-$145 savings per year. Another simple trick is to reduce the volume of reservoir water in your toilet. Simply fill a two-liter soda bottle with sand and place it in the top compartment of your toilet to displace water and save money.

3.Install Energy-efficient Windows or Add Storm Windows

Whether or not you replace all of your windows or simply add storm windows will depend on how long you intend to own the property, the age and condition of the windows themselves, and whether or not they repel moisture. In addition to improving the value of your home, installing all new Energy-Star qualified windows can save up to $465 per year. Installing a storm window can save between $6 – $19 per year for each window – just a few dollars less than new windows, at a much lower cost.

4.Upgrade HVAC

Depending on the age and size of your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) unit, replacing your old equipment can reduce your energy bill by almost $200 per year. If you use Energy Star qualified equipment, you may also qualify for tax credits.

5.High-efficiency Hot Water Heaters

For the average household, installing an Energy Star-certified high-efficiency storage water heater can save about $250 per year for an electric system or about $40 per year for a gas system. Be aware of the price of tank-less gas water heaters, however, though they are more efficient, their price can make them take a while to break even with.

Furthermore, it can be useful to use a home maintenance tracker to manage numerous projects efficiently. You can create your own schedule or you can use an online service that maintains records for you. If you own or manage several properties or  several projects for one property, a visit to a site such as www.homezada.com can provide all-purpose home management software option. You can track you home maintenance plan, improvement schedules, and project financing. All together, these green upgrades can add up to nearly $1000 per year for the average homeowner. Saving energy not only helps the environment, but it helps your pocketbook as well.t

Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches. Follow her on Twitter.