Adding environmentally friendly features to a home is becoming a common reason for upgrading a home, according to a 2018 survey by the National Association of Home Builders. Although such an upgrade requires an investment of money, the return on that investment, in both increased home value and increased efficiency, can often pay for the original cost in the long run.
Moreover, by using lease-purchase programs for HVAC financing, water heater financing, and appliance financing, the cost can be spread out over time rather than absorbing the entire cost at once. Here are three green home upgrade projects that can save money and increase the enjoyment and value of a home:
Heating and Cooling
About 50% of the energy use in a home is used for cooling and heating and improving the heating and cooling efficiency of a home can take many forms. These include simple fixes, such as replacing windows with windows and window coverings that are less likely to let in sunlight and hot air during the summer and allow cold drafts during the winter. Similarly, installing a programmable thermostat and sealing ductwork are more simple ways to improve the energy efficiency of a house.
More extensive improvements, such as installing energy-efficient HVAC systems, can also reduce the amount of energy and money wasted. For example, in most homes, replacing an aging furnace or air conditioner can save between 15% and 20% of the home’s energy use and energy expenses.
Limitations, such as bad credit, should not discourage homeowners from making energy improvements to a home’s heating and cooling system. HVAC financing options include lease to own programs that can minimize the initial outlay for a new, high-efficiency HVAC system.
Reducing water usage and the energy used to heat water can have significant benefits to both the environment and your checkbook. More than 15% of a home’s indoor water usage goes to showering alone. Replacing showerheads with high-efficiency shower heads can save 2,700 gallons of water per year, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has even developed the “Water Sense” label for showerheads, toilets, and faucets that meet certain efficiency standards.
The second greatest source of energy consumption (after heating and air conditioning) is a home’s water heater. Replacing a home’s water heater with a new high-efficiency water heater can save energy while improving performance and reliability. Like HVAC financing, the cost of a new water heater can be spread out into monthly payments by using lease-purchase programs to finance water heater purchases.
Small steps can add up when conserving electricity. For example, replacing old light bulbs with high-efficiency light bulbs can save an average of 70% to 90% of the electricity used to light a home. Moreover, high-efficiency light bulbs have a much longer life span than traditional incandescent light bulbs. This reduces both the replacement costs and the energy costs associated with lighting.
Energy-efficient appliances, such as dishwashers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, refrigerators, and freezers, can also save energy and money. When shopping for appliances, Energy Star labels developed by the EPA show both the purchase price of the appliance and the cost of operating the appliance. This allows consumers to compare different appliances and their associated costs. When purchasing appliances, financing for appliances is often available to both reduce the initial cost as well as spread the overall cost out over the length of the lease.
Energy Star certified products have become very recognizable in the United States, with over 300 million Energy Star certified products sold in 2017. However, many consumers are not aware of all the products that are now certified by the EPA. For example, electronic devices such as televisions, audio systems, digital media players, and tablets are now eligible to be certified as Energy Star compliant.
Between the options for financing electronics and the energy efficiency that can be realized by shopping for Energy Star compliant devices, upgrading electronics is just the latest way to save money by upgrading.
In sum, upgrades throughout the home can conserve energy and save money. Moreover, with options for HVAC financing, water heater financing, appliance financing, and electronics financing, these upgrades are available to all homeowners regardless of their credit rating. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Okinus today.