Sunday, March 18, 2012

Green Your Home: Save Now and Profit Later

With apologies to Sesame Street's Kermit the Frog, it is easy being a green homeowner. And it may be profitable, too.

To green your home you need to invest in a number of energy and water-saving measures that result in lower energy costs. While the initial cost of your green investment may be higher, greening your home can give you an immediate saving of 30% to 60% off your energy costs. Incentives offered by government and local electricity distribution companies will help too.

Best of all, when it's time to sell, you've increased your home's resale value - some say by as much as 10%.

A simple change of habits can start you on the road to a green home: For example, toasters, microwaves, computers and TVs steal "phantom power" - even when they're not in use. Unplug them for lower electricity bills.

Going greener may be as simple as installing energy efficient lighting, upgrading your appliances to Energy Star-rated products and switching to low-flow toilets and water-saving shower heads.

Outside, planting large deciduous trees on the west and south sides of your home moderates the temperature. The result: lower heating and cooling costs and an attractively landscaped yard.

To kick it up a notch, you could really reduce costs with energy efficient windows and insulation. A high-efficiency furnace will quickly pay for itself; as will an energy friendly air-conditioner.

You may even opt for installing solar panels to reduce your dependence on the electricity grid.

And when you're renovating, why not consider a green reno, using toxin-free building materials, cork or bamboo floors and low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint.

Ready to sell? Don't forget to trumpet your green investments. They may just sell your home.

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