Make your home more sustainable by switching over to green energy

BY Allconnect | Wed Jul 29, 2015
Make your home more sustainable by switching over to green energy

Green homes are more popular than ever before, so much so that a building’s sustainability now plays a big part in buying, selling and maintaining the home. The success of this trend was emphasized by a National Home Builders Association survey that identified which home improvement upgrades were a top priority for consumers and home builders alike.

Respondents said that perks like energy-efficient appliances, high-performance windows and large ceiling fans motivate them to consider a home for its sustainable merits. However, these cost-cutting strategies are just the beginning. You can make your home even more sustainable, and likely push the property’s sale value even higher, by learning more about the principles of green energy.

Contact your electric company about green alternatives
Depending on your region and electric companies in your area, you may have access to a utility that offers power generated by renewable sources. A small premium may be required to make the switch, but you’ll be satisfied with the peace of mind that your entire home is being powered by clean energy. Plus, combining this strategy with other energy-saving upgrades will easily offset the cost by reducing your overall energy consumption. A bit of online research will help you determine which utility offers the most cost-effective green energy in your area. Resources like AllConnect can streamline these tedious comparisons and make it easy to find the right choice for your neighborhood.

Connecting appliances is another way to minimize household electricty use.

Utilize passive solar when possible
Passive solar generation is another way to use more natural energy sources in lieu of relying on electricity generated by fossil fuels. Instead of installing panels to store and charge solar power, passive solar is a set of strategies designed to help homeowners and building operators make better use of natural sunlight.

For example, rearranging furniture and hanging curtains made from heavier or lighter materials provides homeowners with a cost-free method for controlling the temperature in the room. Organize the room for maximum sunlight in the winter and fall, then hang heavy curtains to keep sunlight out during the summer. Utilizing green energy techniques like these makes it possible to adjust the climate indoors by a few degrees, providing a great way to take pressure off your HVAC appliances year round and reduce energy consumption.

Research the benefits of household biofuels
Another way to limit the consumption of fossil fuels in your home is to investigate opportunities to utilize biofuels. For example, there are multiple natural alternatives to the oil typically used to heat homes. Nontoxic and biodegradable oils made from animal and vegetable fats, for example, can be used to power your furnace during the winter. If your appliances are on their last legs, you may need to invest in a few small repairs to optimize their performance. While converting to green energy often comes with an upfront cost, there is both short- and long-term value in making your home more sustainable.

Explore the retrofits that deliver serious results
If you’re interested in making a large investment to substantially change the way your home consumes energy and significantly reduces dependence on fossil fuels, there are opportunities to do so. According to Energy.gov, the three most common major retrofits for green energy include the addition of solar panels, installation of wind turbines and development of hydropower systems. The right technology for your home depends greatly on your location, your budget and your neighbors.

For instance, the Department of Energy noted that homeowners considering wind power must live on at least an acre of land and in a location with the right weather for renewable generation via turbine. Similarly, homeowners in desert climate are ideal candidates for solar and an ill fit for hydropower.

“The synergy between your green investments will sell future buyers on your sustainable home.”

Find the right remodeling mix to boost curb appeal
The Boston Globe stressed to homeowners they should consider green energy upgrades as a dollar for dollar investment in terms of resale. After all, homeowners aren’t looking for one green strategy in a vacuum. The allure of the green home is how the entire home works as an ecosystem designed to limit energy consumption and emphasize the use of renewable energy sources. That’s why you’re better off investing in the green energy renovations that make sense for your budget and your personal aesthetic – it’s the synergy between your green investments that will sell future buyers on your sustainable home.

It’s easy to see why green energy has become so important to so many homeowners and builders, especially those interested in supporting alternatives to fossil fuel consumption. As green building and sustainable energy continue to gain mainstream attention, there’s no telling how much value green-focused retrofits could add to your home down the road. In the meantime, energy savings and peace of mind are well worth the investment.

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