Taking care of a house is expensive. One of the most expensive elements in a home is the cost of energy. Whether we are spending our hard-earned cash to heat it in winter and cool it in summer or trying to keep your lawn alive by watering it during the long hot summer, it costs us plenty.
But there are ways to both reduce our carbon footprint and save us some money in the long run. Some of these ideas will take a bit of investment and planning, others are simple to set up and easy to use, like installing a tankless hot water heater. It really depends on your home, what it takes to keep you home running more economically and how much you are willing to spend.
Use Solar Power
From heating your entire home to simply using it to give you hot water, solar power is getting cheaper as the kits come down in price and become easier then ever to install. You can go the whole way and install a complete set of solar panels to heat and cool your home without having to depend on the grid for power. With the introduction of Elan Musk’s solar roof, you will soon be able to tile your roof with solar tiles for less then the cost of a new tile roof.
Don’t forget that there are plenty of federal, state and sometimes even municipal programs in place that will help you to pay for it. Check to see if your local government has programs in place to sell back extra power to the grid as well. You may end up making money instead of spending it, and still have all the energy you need.
Rain Harvesting Systems
Today you never know if that rain you get will be the last one for a while, so harvesting the rain is never a bad idea. Instead of letting that rain flow down your roof, through your water spouts and out to the street, why not capture it for your garden? A simple addition of a rain barrel or two that connects to a hose fed by the water spouts from your roof will do the trick.
If you are really ambitious you can collect it in an underground cistern. For those in rainy areas like the Pacific Northwest, you can also add in a rain garden. It is made with water permeable soil that will collect the runoff and slowly let it percolate down into the soil to add to the water table.
Smart Power Strips
Today our homes have dozens of gadgets that require power, and most of the time we aren’t even using them. So, they sit there and hog all the power, even if you think they are off. We call these energy vampires, and for good reason as they never seem to really die.
Instead of leaving them like this, why not use these handy little smart power strips will actually notice if you aren’t using a device and shut it off from its power source. Since 20% of the power we use goes to these energy vampires when they aren’t even turned on, this is a good way to cut down on wasted energy and save money at the same time.