Jan 10, 2011

10 "Green" Ideas that Pay Off!

Home buyers of today are looking more and more for home features that are "green". This embraces things made from renewable resources as well as features that conserve energy, thus, saving money, all while helping to keep the environment happy and healthy. Here are 10 "green" ideas that pay off!

1. Compact Fluorescent (CF) Light-bulbs
CF light-bulbs can be used in the place of regular bulbs, saving buyers approximately $30 over each bulb's life span. The bulbs themselves may be more expensive but they use 75% less energy to produce the same amount of light which is where the money saving aspect comes into play. They also reduce air conditioning costs as they produce less heat than conventional light-bulbs.

2. Programmable Thermostats
Programmable thermostats can be pre-set to change temperature during hours when homeowners are out, saving around $150 a year!

3. Ceiling Fans
Reversible ceiling fans can draw warm air upward toward the ceiling or push it down toward the floor, as needed, saving money on air conditioning and heating bills, although it works better for cooling purposes.

4. Insulation and Sealing Air Leaks
Proper insulation and sealing can reduce heating and cooling costs by 20%, which is a 10% overall utility cost reduction each year. Definitely worth it!

5. Refrigerators
You may want to consider upgrading your refrigerator as some of the newer models use 60% less energy than older models. This much energy could light a house for almost four months!

6. Dishwashers
Like refrigerators, some newer dishwashers are much more efficient than older models and by upgrading yours, you could save an additional $30 a year. These little amounts add up quickly!

7. Laundry Machines
Newer laundry machines can save you approximately $110 a year on bills as they cut down energy use by approximately 40%! Choose laundry machines that load from the front since they use less water and, thus, save more money. They also have faster spin cycles which get out more moisture and save additional money in drying.

8. Windows
Replacing single paned windows with thicker, more insulated types can save money by keeping hot or cold air inside more effectively.

9. Central Air Conditioning
There are some basics that buyers will check before investing in a new home. They'll want to know that the roof is sound, the windows are watertight and in good condition and that there is centralized air conditioning and heating. Check the efficiency of your AC to make sure you're getting the best use out of it.

10. Heaters
Like centralized air conditioning units, some heaters are more energy efficient so check yours to see if you should upgrade it.

Making these simple changes to your house can add a huge value in the eyes of buyers as they won't have to do the work. Let's face it, no one wants to move in and start working on repairs and upgrades. They want to settle into their new home and relax after all that moving!

Article Source: http://www.homestagingchannel.com/10-quotgreenquot-ideas-that-pay-off-i-343.php