Top 15 Green Home Improvements and their Costs 2020

Home energy efficiency is both a journey and an objective. The objective is as simple as going Green. You optimize the resources of your home while saving money. Those savings are part of the journey.

Green living is smart living. Truly, the journey is never ending. There are steps you can take today to achieve greater resource efficiency in your home. It’s important to remember that energy efficiency is for everyone and not just those with ‘best practices’ in mind, or those who can afford the right technology.

Think strategy

We list 15 green home improvements or major renovation projects popular today. More importantly, these are considerations for truly increasing your home’s energy efficiency and reducing its environmental footprint.

A Few Things First

home-energy-audit

There is one tip we cannot ignore. A Home Energy Audit is the first step of our journey. This puts the strategy in proper perspective for you. Usually, a non-profit or professional specialist comes to your home, and spends 2 to 4 hours assessing your energy consumption, evaluates all issues contributing to your home’s energy loss and recommends steps to achieve greater efficiency. They are a great third party resource that curtails all possible steps you might take to your home’s specific needs. They too can provide tips for you to integrate into your daily living.

Additionally, it helps to understand your home’s structure as a thermal envelope. The envelope is all that shields your house from the outer elements and keeps energy within your walls, windows, doors, etc.

So first consideration is to seal the gaps. Wherever the envelop is leaking energy, that needs to be addressed. That’s what the Home Auditor will be looking for.

Next, you address the resources of your home producing energy. Assessing condition of existing technology in the home shifts focus to greater efficiency.

Upgrades are likely needed in some cases, and we’ll help you identify what’s available. With technology comes understanding EnergyStar products which label goods known to optimize energy efficiency.

Sealing the Envelope

caulking-and-weatherproofing

Walls, windows, doors and the roof all help retain energy within your home. And all are susceptible to leaking energy. In this section we list three home improvement projects that address gaps in the home.

In our ‘Major Renovations” section below, there are two more. Tips like caulking windows and weather stripping doors are items you can do do it yourself style.

caulking-to-stop-air-leaks

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Tesla Solar Roof Vs. Apollo and Dow Solar Shingles

There is a hot, new trend: BIPV solar shingle roofs. Basically, you replace traditional shingles with building integrated photovoltaic solar shingles that comprise the roof and convert solar energy to electricity.

Architects, designers and builders have already been using some form of solar shingles form Apollo by Certainteed, and Dow Powerhouse, which has recently closed their doors, thus creating an opportunity for new market entrants.

But, with the recent update on the upcoming roll-out of Elon Musk’s Tesla Solar Roof, a possibility of fully-functional and 100% building-integrated (not hybrid) PV solar shingles roof is just around the corner! Let’s talk a bit about the latest developments in the solar roofing market.

How Dow Chemical Paved the Road for BIPV Solar Shingle Roofs

In 2011, Dow Chemical has disrupted residential solar power industry by unveiling their daring and innovative solar shingles product — An elegant, roof-integrated alternative to the “old-school” bulky crystalline PV solar panels for residential roofs.

Dow’s PowerHouse BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics) solar shingles were remarkably appealing, and in some sense, easier to install than traditional PV solar panels. However, after just five short years Dow is getting out of the solar shingles business. They have decided to no longer manufacture and cease selling their break-through PowerHouse solar shingles.

However, PowerHouse 3.0 solar shingles will now be available via RGS Energy who stepped up and acquired Dow’s solar shingle technology.

So, does that leave homeowners with only a single option for solar power; to have the bulky paneling installed on their roof (which often requires drilling holes through shingles to bolt the panels onto the roof, and then relying on lots of caulk around the holes in shingles for water-tightness)? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding no.

That is where Elon Musk with his version of Tesla Solar Roof wants to come in and fill the vacuum created by Dow exiting the solar roofing industry.

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Solar Garden Lights, their Costs, and Pros and Cons – Outdoor Lighting Ideas for your Garden

Did you Know?

You can Brighten Up Your Garden With Electricity-Free, Solar Garden Lights; here is how:

Being able to make the most of your garden area, whether it is simply a small patio, or an extensive area of greenery and flowers, is something that most people would love to do! There is nothing better than relaxing and spending time with your family and friends in a beautiful garden.

Now you can use the sun to light up any and all parts of your garden at night

outdoor-solar-garden-lights

Needless to say, running electrical wires to all parts of the garden can be a difficult and costly process, here is where outdoor, solar-powered lights can help you enjoy your garden even when the sun has set.

How Do Outdoor Solar Garden Lights Work?

The topic of solar energy is one which has often been debated, and while its use as a serious power source to help keep the country running may still be in dispute, using solar garden lights is a very good way to harness the sun’s rays and to use natural and abundant solar energy to power these lamps during the evening.

Working like a small solar panel, the sun’s rays are converted into energy by the cell during the day, and stored in a battery, and then during the evening the energy in this battery can be used to power a lamp, or a number of lights together depending on the style of the light in question.

Cost

You can buy solar garden lights at your local home improvement store for. The prices range from $2 to $50 on average. For instance, you can buy a Portfolio 3-Light 12X Brighter Black Solar LED Landscape Flood Light Kit at Lowe’s for about $40.

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