Lower your bills and your carbon footprint!
Over the past decade, individuals and businesses have increasingly adopted green living. Americans have found that being environmentally conscious is not only good for the Earth, but also turns out to be good for our wallets. For a moderate investment in many green home modifications, you can continue to save for many years to come.
Here are four examples of ways you can go green with your home.
Plug Those Drafts
The average home loses up to 30% of its heating and cooling energy because of leaks and outdated windows and doors. If your windows haven’t been replaced in a decade or more, you’re likely seeing higher energy costs as a result. According to a study by Energy Star, double-pane windows can save you up to $465 per year in energy costs.
Use Natural Remedies
If you want a truly natural way to cut costs and be more energy efficient, strategic landscaping can play a key role. For example, planting trees above an air conditioning unit results in 10% more efficiency because it takes the unit less energy to cool itself. Similarly, planting bushes and shrubs around the perimeter of your house creates a natural insulation system for your home. Just be sure to leave a foot of buffer space between the plants and your home for maximum efficiency.
Modify Your Bathroom
Bathrooms make up 65% of all energy waste in the U.S., according to the EPA. Between leaky faucets and long showers, bathrooms can take a huge toll on your energy usage. Does your toilet’s water run between flushes? This can amount to hundreds of gallons of water being wasted every day. High efficiency toilets cost a couple hundred dollars on average, but end up saving you about $100 per year, according to the EPA. The same goes for showers: Installing low-flow shower heads can lower your costs and ensure your hygiene habits are more environmentally friendly.
Turn Appliances Green
Household appliances have come a long way in boosting energy efficiency and cutting back on our carbon footprint. Appliances bearing the Energy Star label are approved by the EPA to be energy efficient, meaning you’ll save energy and money. For example, Energy Star washing machines use 50% less water than non-Energy Star brands, and Energy Star certified refrigerators can save you an average of $158 per year, so the savings will pay for themselves within 3-5 years.
Vantage West can help you go green. While there is some upfront cost involved, making your home greener can save you lots of money down the line. If you need financial help going green, consider a Vantage West mortgage to help you upgrade to a greener home or a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) to help with those upgrades. A HELOC enables you to leverage the equity in your home to make potentially money-saving, energy-efficient improvements. With competitive rates, you can make that green dream a reality and even potentially increase the value of your home. Vantage West Credit Union offers HELOCs starting at $10,000 for qualified Arizona homeowners.
Loans subject to approval. Certain restrictions and fees may apply. Mortgage options subject to change without notice.