Here are some green remodeling projects that will actually put money back into your wallet while making your life a little easier at the same time.
Installing High Efficiency Windows
The new generation of energy efficient windows can cut your energy costs by as much as a whopping 50% annually, which means they will literally pay for themselves in a few short years.
If you are in the market for new windows you need to be looking for multiple paned windows, low e coatings, insulated frames and gas fills.
You should also keep in mind that good installation is every bit as important when it comes to achieving the highest possible levels of energy efficiency so make sure you are dealing with a reputable window installation company you can trust.
Installing A High Efficiency Heating System
This is another green improvement that can save you a small fortune on energy bills as well as help the environment by cutting down on fuel consumption. Look for a heating system that has AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings of 90 or better and, again, remember that a poor installation job will sabotage all your efforts and investment.
Get New Kitchen Appliances
Just because that ten year old refrigerator can still do its job does not mean that it should. The new breed of Energy Star rated dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines and clothes dryers can help you score up to $500 in extra energy savings for every year that they are on the job.
Go Low Flow
Wasting water is as bad as wasting energy and the average home still wastes a lot of it. Low flow toilets and showers will help to reduce your water usage a lot and the newest models are every bit as efficient as their water guzzling older counterparts. How much water can you save? A lot. For example, just the simple act of installing a low flow shower head can cut your water bill by a third.
Insulate, Insulate and Insulate Some More
All the high efficiency windows, heating systems and appliances in the world are not much good if your home is not properly insulated. Leaky windows and doors, and poorly insulated attic spaces are some of the most common causes of energy inefficient homes, so those are good places to start.
To be truly sure that your home is up to speed consider calling in a professional to conduct a full energy audit and help you determine where and how you should be adding extra insulation.
All of these are great measures and many of them come with an extra added bonus – tax rebates and allowances. Make sure you ask about all of them when you are making your purchases and then actually remember to file for them when tax time comes around!