When most people hear about green energy, they automatically envision space-aged equipment that resembles appliances as seen on the Death Star. As a result, they think that the cost of the equipment will be sky-high. However, this conception couldn’t be any further from the truth. In reality, going green requires inexpensive, low profile solutions that easily blend into any home of business. Continue reading to learn about the cost-efficient benefits and methods of reducing your carbon footprint through embracing some extra sustainability.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
The concept of geothermal heating and cooling is simple: use the stable temperature of the water beneath the surface of the earth. While the temperatures above ground change with the seasons, the temperatures of subterranean water are extremely consistent. Transforming your home into a naturally heated and cooled environment has numerous benefits. These benefits include drastically lower monthly bills, federal tax credits, and of course, helping the environment. Traditional HVAC systems are forced to endure heavy workloads to extract heat from cold air, and vice versa. This process takes a great amount of power, which you are paying for. Geothermal heating and cooling systems are proven to be 400-600 times more efficient in regulating the air temperature of your home. This efficiency can lower your energy bill by up to 80%, and most systems are ENERGY STAR certified, too. The fact of the matter is, up to 70% of the typical home energy bill is made up by HVAC systems. By diminishing the power consumed by these systems, you can significantly impact the size of your carbon footprint on the environment.
Solar power is no longer big and ugly
When solar panels first came out on the market, many people refused to invest in them for two main reasons: they cost was high and they ruined the home’s aesthetic appeal. However, today solar power is significantly cheaper to invest in, and the devices and designs have been reduced to a stunning, low profile look. In some cases, these panels can’t even be seen and often blend right into the home and landscape.
When solar energy panels appeared on the market, China was the primary manufacturer. However, as science has improved and the demand for this technology boomed, there are various American companies that have captured the market by offering better and less expensive products. In an article by ‘US News’, going green for cheap by utilizing solar energy is due primarily to slashes in equipment cost. The article states that, thanks to a combination of tumbling installation and equipment costs, solar expenses dropped almost 30 percent in 2012 according to the SEIA reports. Also, due to America’s mission to severe their dependency on foreign oil, innovative approaches to financing rooftop solar panels came to fruition.
If you do an online search, you can even discover tiny solar lights to accent your landscape at night. These items cost under $100, and provide ample lighting with no expense whatsoever. These lights can blend into your flower beds, accent rock or water features, and even light up the outside of your home at night without feeding from your utility bill.
Your plumbing system is the heart of your home. Water enters and exits providing families with the ability to cook, bathe, drink, and flush out waste. Most homeowners and businesses fail to think about plumbing when it comes to going green and saving money. But investing in green plumbing methodology is one of the most cost-efficient ways to protect the environment and lower your utility. Go online and find an experienced plumber in your area, and make sure their website advertises green practices. Jim Dandy Plumbing, a plumbing company in Washington State, educates their customers on the benefits of green plumbing, while helping homeowners cut back on their utility bill. Rain gardens, storm water retention, water catchment systems and whole home inspections are services that any reliable green plumber will provide.
Rain garden cisterns are highly advantageous in areas that get lots of rainfall. These devices are placed in lower areas of the landscape where water is collected and filtered before being fed back into the ground. Rather than the water being sent through the plumbing where it is emptied into the city’s sewer and chemically treated, it feeds the local rivers, lakes and streams. This not only benefits wildlife, but it also adds to the quality of our local water for those who enjoy recreational activities like water skiing and fishing. Furthermore, people who utilize this system will see a lower water bill and may even qualify for a green tax credit.
If you do some research on your own, you will discover that there are many areas in which going green involves minimal investments and provides huge returns. Have you done any green home improvements to your property lately? I’d love to hear about them!
Cistern Image source: nwbloom.com