As of the posting of this blog, nearly all states in this country have announced stay-at-home orders due to the novel coronavirus. The fact that humankind is battling one common enemy makes me think of things we can all do moving forward to make earth a better place to live in. So many thoughts go through my mind; first, going ‘green’ is great for the environment. We should all be striving to have more environmentally friendly mindset at all times. Perhaps considering more greenhouses is the next level of this kind of thoughtful life style. Even better, that’s not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings while being environmentally friendly.
- Solar panels: The upfront cost may be intimidating, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity!
2. Wood furnace: Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings aren’t as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.
- Insulation: There’s a good chance your insulation isn’t very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bill.
4. Rain barrels: Rain barrels are inexpensive, and provide gallons of free water to use when you wash your car or water your garden.
5.Geothermal system: A geothermal heat pump (GHP) or ground source heat pump (GSHP) is a central heating and/or cooling system that transfers heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth all the time, without any intermittency, as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). A geothermal heat pump is the greenest, most efficient, and most cost effective heating & cooling system available because it uses only the free renewable solar energy stored in your backyard rather than burning fossil fuels. Okay, so the price tag is scary at first. A geothermal system uses the earth’s temperature to heat and cool your home, but can cost $30,000 to install. However, tax credits allow you to get a lot of that money back, and the energy savings average about $1,900 per year. If you plan to be in your home for a decade or longer, it’s a great investment.