Now is the ideal time for making some improvements around the house to make sure it’s ready to handle the cold weather, snowstorms, and other “unforeseen” surprises. 😉 Your imagination and your wallet are both screaming, “Go big or go home!”. So what are some of the major home improvement and DIY projects to consider?
Backup Power Generator for Snowstorm-related Energy Disruption Emergencies
If you can not afford to go completely green and can not afford to be without power for any length of time than a conventional standby power generator and automatic transfer switch is the answer to ever-present grid failure. Your two main considerations are strength and endurance. Units can be installed from 7 kilowatts of power (about $2,000) up to 22 kilowatts and more to power an entire house (about $5,000).
Personal Wind Turbines – Talking about Energy Independence
Is your region susceptible to winter storms that can leave you without power for days on end? Maybe it is time to begin your move off the grid with a small wind turbine.
These all-weather energy generators are increasingly becoming consumer-friendly and provide clean, emissions-free power for homes and small businesses. Put away those images of massive towers and rotating elephantine arms – personal wind turbines can be installed on property as small as an acre.
Begin by checking with your local zoning ordinances to determine if personal wind turbines are permitted. Once you have the go-ahead determine the size turbine you will need.
A typical home requires a 5-kilowatt generating capacity that will come from a turbine about 18 feet in diameter. Depending on your topography the turbine may be mounted on a tower anywhere from 30 feet (ten feet less than a telephone pole) to 140 feet high to pull from winds at least 12 miles per hour.
Expect to pay an average of $30,000, but if your wind situation is favorable a turbine can be installed for as little as $10,000. The normal payback period will be between six and thirty years, factoring in such variables as electrical usage, local rates and government tax credits that can approach 30% of the installation cost.
When contemplating a wind turbine or other structure on your property, it will often require a site plan filed with your local permit application. No longer is it necessary to rely on the costly and time-consuming skills of a professional surveyor. Companies such as 24hPlans.com can save you time and money by preparing a conceptual site plan from property sketches and get your project approved with no fuss and hassle.
Insulation in housing goes back to the days of mud chinking in log houses. These days a modern insulation technique is radiant barriers composed of highly reflective material. These are installed in attics and especially useful in hot climates to reduce heat build-up in the summer. Since they are installed in attics, winter is the ideal time to tackle this project when the working space is bearable.
It is imperative that the radiant barrier panels be as perpendicular to the heat source as possible and certified installers are typically your best option. Outfitting a 1000-square foot house with paid installers will run in the neighborhood of $1,500. Radiant barriers can also be installed in conjunction with thermal insulation to provide increased cost savings in the winter as well.