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How to Make Your Home Eco Friendly

 Home with solar panelsMaking your home ecofriendly can have a variety of benefits beyond protecting the environment. Many of these improvements can increase the value of your home, as well as save you thousands of dollars a year on maintenance and utility costs.

There is a large variety of options to choose from when making your home more ecofriendly. Some of these options cost only a few dollars to build and use, while other improvements can cost thousands of dollars and may require you to take out a home equity line of credit to pay for.

Because of the large investment that can be involved with making your home ecofriendly, it is usually recommended to start with a few small projects and move up to bigger ones. For example, many people start by switching out their light bulbs for CFLs or LED bulbs. To mitigate the cost, many people switch out the bulbs over time; usually waiting until a bulb burns out before replacing it.

Another great ecofriendly project is to build a vegetable garden in your backyard. A high quality garden can raise the value of a home by about 1% of its total purchase price according to the National Association of Realtors. In addition, vegetable gardens with native plants can require less water than grass and flowers, reducing your water bill. The ability to supply your own produce can save a family hundreds of dollars a year.

Installing energy saving devices such as a programmable thermostat and shut off timers on water heaters will
cost a few hundred dollars, but it can save a family hundreds of dollars every year on their power bill. These devices reduce the amount of energy that is used on heating and cooling empty space when no one is home and heating water when no one is ready to use it right away.

Of course, there are more expensive options to make a home ecofriendly. These choices can cost a lot of money, but they also have the potential to save thousands of dollars a year. If you are interested in one of these options, be sure to research the potential costs, permitting needed, and benefits before making improvements.

Installing solar panels on the roof is one of the most talked about ecofriendly improvements. Unlike old designs that stored power in batteries for use later, today’s solar panel systems are designed to accept power from the power grid when less solar energy is available, and feed power back into the grid when there is an excess of energy. During these excess times, the homeowner’s power bill is credited for the energy they feed into the grid.

Installing solar panels can cost between ten and twenty thousand dollars, but many owners have reported that they have completely eliminated paying for power after installing them. No pollution is produced by solar power, and a home’s value will increase by having panels installed.

Another option is a green roof. These roofs are reinforced for extra structural support, then planted with a variety of plants and mosses. The vegetation acts as a natural insulator, reducing the cost of heating and cooling a structure by fifty percent or more. Furthermore, the roofs absorb more rainfall, reducing the likelihood of flash floods. The vegetation also acts to absorb carbon emissions, essentially reducing a home’s carbon footprint to zero.