The appeal of having environmentally friendly upgrades in your home is huge, ranging from lower utility bills to lessening your carbon footprint.
For homeowners, however, the question isn’t just in the appeal, it’s in the fine print: Are these upgrades really worth it?
Outlined below are four popular natural upgrades homeowners may consider, so you can decide whether or not they’re right for you.
#1 Low-Flow Toilets
Everyone has heard of the horrific money-saving chant, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” that promotes less flushing to conserve water.
A more welcoming option is the installation of a low-flow toilet, which uses far less water than your standard bathroom fixture.
These are great environmentally friendly home additions regardless of your geographic location; just be sure to do a little comparison shopping to find the one that best meets your family’s needs.
Whether it’s custom window coverings, small repairs, or replacement window installation, investing in your windows is usually a safe bet.
A key aspect of home efficiency is windows, as poor sealing provides prime entry and escape routes for airflow. If you notice that your monthly HVAC costs are higher than you would like, it’s a good idea to consider updating your windows or investing in custom window coverings.
As a bonus, a home that comes with new windows or custom coverings can increase your resale value if you decide to sell the house.
#3 Smart Thermostats
A great deal of your energy consumption is dictated by your thermostat. With this said, some people can monitor their usage and manipulate their thermostat to meet their needs.
If you are not one of these people, a smart thermostat could be a perfect fit. These upgrades learn your patterns (when you work, etc.) over time and adjust the temperature in your home accordingly, thereby saving you money.
The biggest consideration here is that you do need to be at least a little tech-savvy in order use them, so keep this in mind before you buy.
#4 Solar Panels
When most people think of environmentally friendly home upgrades or natural upgrades, they think of solar panels. While these additions are great in theory, they aren’t for everyone.
Some things that you should take into consideration before you splurge are your current electric bill and your geographic location (and I don’t just mean California vs. the North Pole).
While sun exposure can be a factor, the biggest consideration is how much your area charges per kilowatt-hour. If your prices are higher, solar power could definitely save you money over time.
In the end, the biggest factor when it comes to choosing the right environmentally friendly upgrades for your home comes down to research. Take your time, look at all of your options, and shop around.
If you’re feeling uncertain, one of the best ways to determine if an upgrade is a right choice for you and your home is through a home energy performance evaluation. These services help zero in on your home’s biggest energy deficiencies, help you decide on the best methods of improvement, and help you put them into motion.
What are you doing to make your house more environmentally friendly?