Only 10 years ago, solar panels were considered ugly, and homeowners were reluctant to make green changes their homes. Today, green technology is popular, and green renovations are some of the most popular renovations being performed. In addition, government incentives make green renovations even more common, and the popularity of green technology is only expected to increase in the future. Here are the five greenest renovations and some of the reasons why homeowners may wish to do and consider in the real estate investment.
Insulation is an essential component of a green home, and homes that are able to maintain a constant temperature will allow a home to remain comfortable while using less heating or cooling. However, windows are important in homes as they provide a gateway to the outdoors and allow homeowners to take advantage of natural lighting. Windows are often the cause of air leakage from homes, and older windows tend to leak more than newer windows. In addition, new window technology allows homeowners to avoid radiating heat into or out of their homes. While the upgrade may be expensive, real estate agents note that window upgrades tend to pay for themselves quickly, and those interested in using less energy will want to look at their windows first.
The economics behind solar panels can be a bit complex, and homeowners will want to investigate whether installing solar panels will allow them to save money. However, those who live in places where sunlight is common will often see solar panels pay for themselves in a short period of time. In addition, government agencies will often subsidize the cost of solar panels, so installation may be less expensive than many homeowners imagine. Solar panels also add to the value of a home, and those who install solar panels will see the value of their homes increase significantly.
Green experts agree that efficiency is the most important component of going green. Thanks to certification agencies, it is now possible for appliance manufacturers to reach for particular goals. New appliances use far less energy and water than older appliances, and those who buy appliances that rate highly will see significant savings over time. New appliances also look great, and they can add to the value of a home for their aesthetic appeal.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters have been around for decades, but engineering issues made them unreliable in the past. Over the past 10 years, however, tankless water heaters have proven to be as reliable as their traditional counterparts, and many homeowners have happily made the transition. Because tankless systems only heat water when it is needed, they do not need to waste energy keeping a large reservoir of water warm. Switching to tankless water heaters will allow homeowners to save money on electricity and water as well as their insurance policy.
CFL bulbs have allowed homeowners to save money on their electricity bills while using less energy for their lighting. Those who have not made the switch may wish to consider doing so. However, those interested in the greenest technology want to look at LED lighting. LED lighting is even more efficient than CFL lighting, and LED bulbs are rated to last for upwards of 25 years. LED lights cost more up front, but their efficiency makes them a wise investment for those interested in going green.