The weather is warming up and you might be thinking about making some upgrades and home improvements.
Adam Duke and Jacob Smith from Go Green Energy Consulting have the following tips and ideas for choosing smarter, sustainable energy-saving products for your home.
Choose THIS, not THAT:
1. Choose LED Lights instead of Incandescent Lights
Not only are the old incandescent light bulbs going to stop being made this year, but these LEDs have another added bonus as well. The bulbs actually air seal as well which has an added benefit because non sealed recessed lights can cost up to $20/yr in heat and cooling. When you take that into account, the payback on these is very quick and they are the most aesthetically pleasing light out there.
2. Choose Drywall instead of Wood Paneled Room
By nature of sheet rock, drywall is a good air sealer and a good wall material. On the other hand, rooms that are wood paneled which are put together using a "tongue and groove" technique are notoriously leaky and drafty. If you are considering having a room redone to be wood paneled, make sure that there are no holes in the walls that are being covered up.
3. Choose an Energy Star Fridge to replace your old refrigerator
A new energy star refrigerator can cost less than $100/yr to operate. Models that are 15 years or older can cost up to $300 a year. When updating your appliances, consider using energy star models to maximize energy saving. In addition, keeping your fridge full is another way to help it run efficiently.
Go Green EC gives away stickers that tell you if your freezer or refrigerator is set at the optimal temperature.
4. Tankless vs. Tank water Heaters
Tank less hot water heaters are great because they provide endless hot water and you aren't paying to have hot water on hand 24/7. However, they are costly and don't have a great payback because of the initial investment. It is definitely green to not store heated water constantly but a tank less unit doesn't provide the quickest return on investment compared to a conventional tank unit.
5. Nest Learning Thermostat
THE coolest energy saving techy tool every homeowner should have - the NEST Learning Thermostat.
Old thermostats had no set back features, newer programmable thermostats are so hard to program, the EPA took away the energy star certification. Only 11% of set back thermostats are programmed to save energy. The NEST adjusts itself based on your comfort settings to maximize energy savings. In addition, you can program it from away from home (via your iPhone and iPad) ensuring your home is comfortable when you get there.
6. Counter tops
Worst: Granite, Marble, Soapstone, Laminates
Best: Recycled Glass, Ceramic Tile, Wood or Butcher Block, Concrete
Go Green Energy Consulting, a Southfield-based home performance company that focuses on improving the way your home works and uses energy, is offering a complete home performance assessment for FOX 2 viewers for only $99. For more information on the offer, call 248-233-7933 or log on to www.gogreenec.com.