Sustainable home. Sustainable finances.

    3 minutes
    5 home improvements that save money and the planet
    You may have read our blog “Save Money by Saving the Planet” where we shared small changes that make sustainable savings part of your everyday routine. We’re back to share some improvements you can make to your home that make a long-term impact both on your finances and on the environment. Here are five home improvements you can make to save the planet while saving money.

    1. Seal and Insulation
    The EPA estimates that homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs by air sealing your home and adding insulation in attics, floors, over crawl spaces and basements. Not only does this save you money, but it increases your comfort by keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Many homeowners also experience benefits such as reduced noise from outside, better humidity control and less pollen, dust and insects entering the home.

    2. Windows and doors
    ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors and skylights are a sure way to lower energy bills and save you money. They also keep your home free of cold drafts and overheated spaces because they keep your home’s temperature consistent. And with more efficient windows you use less energy – reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors and skylights also reduce UV sun damage to floors, carpets and furniture thanks to their low-emissivity coatings.

    3. Solar panels
    Many of us have heard that installing solar panels can reduce monthly utility bills, but did you know that this long-term, low risk investment can also increase your home value? Solar panels are now viewed as upgrades. A study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that on average solar increased the value of a home by about $15,000. And let’s not forget that you’d also be helping the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    4. Rainwater harvesting
    Rainwater harvesting helps you lessen your environmental footprint by collecting, storing and repurposing rainwater that would otherwise fall back onto the ground or drain away. You then use this water in and around your home instead of relying on the city water supply. Here are some of the many ways rainwater is used:
    • Water lawn, garden and indoor plants
    • Wash vehicles
    • Wash pets
    • Refill fountains and fish ponds
    • Refill swimming pool
    • Wash driveways, sidewalks and windows
    • Indoor non-potable fixtures such as toilets, dishwasher and washing machine
    Rainwater harvesting benefits us and the environment by reducing water bills, demand on groundwater and flooding and erosion while also improving plant growth.

    5. Geothermal
    Geothermal heat pumps are an alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems that use the ground’s energy to heat and cool your home. And while they may cost more up front, geothermal heat pumps deliver more energy per unit consumed and that heat is coming from your own yard. That means that you can lower your energy bill up to 70%. The maintenance of the system is also cheaper than traditional heating systems resulting in more savings over the long term. Let’s not forget about the benefit to the environment – geothermal systems don’t directly produce any CO2 emissions, making us more efficient in the energy that we do use.

    We’re here to help you build and maintain financial slack – even when you’re saving the planet. Our SustainableHome™ Financing team is here to help you navigate the ins and outs of renewable energy so we can help you save money while saving the planet.