Everyone's talking about eco-friendly home updates, but what's in it for you? Here are 10 reasons to take the plunge into a greener lifestyle:
1. YOU'LL INCREASE YOUR HOMES VALUE
There's a growing buzz among buyers about eco-friendly homes. And what's not to like: Green homes use sustainable materials that are better for the environment, and have lower utility bills and healthful air.
That means you'll boost your home's value with big and small eco-friendly projects. So whether you splurge on solar panels or buy an affordable water-saving shower and toilet, you'll have that much-needed edge with buyers when you sell.
2. THE ENERGY SAVINGS WILL ADD UP
The U.S Department of Energy believes if current buildings were green-improved, the country would use $20 billion less in energy per year. That's not chump change!
You can get your piece of the discounts with your own energy-efficient updates. You'll be surprised at the amount of money you'll save with small updates, like installing tightly sealing insulation.
And while some green updates are more expensive, energy-savers can be cheaper than the power-hogging alternatives. For instance, many homes are built with HVAC systems that are too large. A properly sized system will be cheaper upfront and will save energy later.
3. YOU'LL SAVE MONEY ON YOUR WATER BILL,TOO
Green updates that reduce the amount of water it takes to run a home will certainly save you money, and they can be especially important in states with water-use restrictions such as California, Arizona and Nevada.
Inside the house, Energy Star appliances and water-saving plumbing systems will drastically cut water usage. For instance, toilets built before 1982 use a whopping 5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. Replace the water-guzzler with a high-efficiency model that uses fewer than 1.3 gallons per flush and you'll see almost instant savings.
You can also save money in the yard with a low-flow sprinkler or irrigation...
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