Going green is more than just the latest homeowner fad—it is a matter of saving the earth. While the added value to your house, and the money saved on bills, are added benefits to going green, reducing your carbon footprint is often enough of a motivation for most people. Other benefits that many people don’t address or think of include savings on insurance as well as on taxes. Going green can really add up quickly!
Luckily, going green is now easier than ever. Technology is improving by the minute, and every new development is one step closer to a completely eco-friendly home. Here are five ways your home can be environmentally friendly within the next few years.
- Affordable Solar Power
Solar power was once seen as an expensive and unreliable source of power. However, there has sprung up a collection of affordable solar options in recent years, that make solar energy worth it for homeowners like never before. Many companies now offer power purchasing deals; rather than having to pay for, and install, your own solar panels, the solar company will do this for you, and simply charge you for the energy used each month. This often makes for a more economically efficient alternative to regular power plans—many homeowners combine it with a home warranty to save significantly on their monthly bills.
- Automated Utilities
A further way to save money on monthly utility bills is to automate them. Smart technology is now such that homeowners are able to control just about every aspect of their home with a simple touch of a button. Your lights can be switched off remotely, heating and cooling monitored—and even control itself using a smart thermostat—and even home security tracked, all using an app on your phone. All of this makes your home much more environmentally friendly by eliminating lights left on and heating or cooling used in empty houses.
- Automated Gardens
An even newer development in the world of automation however, is the introduction of automated gardens. Not only are automated irrigation systems now commonplace—they will detect precipitation and prevent sprinklers from going off in the rain—but now you can also completely automate your lawn watering. A smart device like this one will detect weather patterns, humidity, soil types, and so on, and make sure that not a single drop of water is wasted on your lawn.
- Water Conservation
Speaking of water, this is one of the most important topics when it comes to smart living these days—with droughts regularly threatening many parts of the country. A lot of saving water comes down to making conscious choices—don’t leave the tap running when you brush your teeth or wash dishes, don’t flush the toilet when it isn’t necessary, avoid long showers and baths. However, there are also ways in which you can turn your home into one that saves water. One of the best ways is to install low flow shower heads and faucets throughout, as well as timers by each shower so that you become more conscious of how much water you are using.
- Energy Saving Appliances
Some of our most harmful effects on the environment come from the types of appliances that we use. Smart appliances may seem like unnecessary extra expenses when we are looking in the store, but they can actually save us a ton of money and a ton of energy. Furthermore, so many companies now make the effort to provide eco-friendly appliances, furniture, and AV systems that it is often now more difficult and nonsensical to opt for one that isn’t. Though you might be happy with your current, non eco-friendly appliances, the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude does not apply here—replacing your appliances could save you hundreds of dollars a year. You can view a list of smart appliances on the Department of Energy’s Energy Star approved list, and can even get rebates on many of the products found on there.