The path to energy efficiency is one homeowners are increasingly going to be taking as we head deeper into the 21st century. Despite long term savings the immediate upfront costs and headaches of retrofitting a home to better utilize energy, many folks postpone these inevitable upgrades. Though likely destined to always be inconvenient, going green can be made a little easier by taking advantage of good timing and opportunities, such as the following:
- Optimal Power Supplier
Ideal energy efficiency at home starts with getting the most glow for your buck. The incremental over-the-years savings acquired from green upgrades to the home aren’t much good if an equally incremental albeit unnecessary expense is spent per kilowatt hour. Many regions of North America fortunately have deregulated energy markets. Residents of the U.S. and Canada can easily find more information on whether or not they have the opportunity to shop for the best electricity rates.
- Right Time to Replace Appliances and Fixtures
Should homeowners wait until water heaters, toilets, and refrigerators fail before buying more energy efficient replacements? If the current appliances or fixtures can fetch a fair price via online classifieds it may be worth the hassle of haggling with strangers to cover the cost of a new one. If it’s so beat up and old it only works because “they don’t make them like they use to” then it’s probably a better idea to keep using it till its last air cooling or wash cycle. In either case it’s always worth it to look into available tax credits, rebates, and savings related to green home improvements.
- Planning Big Projects
Planning is key to efficient installation of energy efficient upgrades to a structure. Home improvements made in a rush, where the homeowner is under pressure to fix an immediate unforeseen problem, rarely lead to ideal outcomes. A shortage of available funds and lack of a coherent understanding of what needs to be done to do the job right are often traced to poor planning. Have an inspector give your home a top-to-bottom look at least once a year. Knowing a new roof is inevitable within six months allows homeowners to read into cool roofs and other energy efficient approaches.
- Start from the Beginning
The all-in-all most efficient approach to home energy efficiency is of course making sure these green solutions are there from the beginning. Unless you have the means to have a designed home built from scratch, this may seem like a farfetched fantasy. However this can be achieved by purchasing a home in need of renovation. The ‘fixer upper” status will knock tens of thousands of dollars off the purchase price in a given neighborhood and allow energy efficiency-minded individuals to put tens of thousands of dollars into green home improvements.
Homeowners of this century are going to have to factor energy efficiency into their decisions before and after the mortgage payments start being sent. Shrinking energy sources, increasing household demands, and resulting steadily increasing cost of energy are making this a guarantee. Whether these green upgrades are a major headache or a small inconvenience depends on the due diligence and proper planning of the modern homeowner.