Implementing simple green changes to your home is easy and most of us don’t think twice when it comes to installing LED lights or a dual-flush toilet. However, when it comes to going green on a larger scale, such as switching to a renewable energy system, we start thinking about our finances. Yet, we fail to see that even though such an upgrade might require more money initially, it actually offers a high return on investment. Furthermore, you have different systems at your disposal, so you can find one that meets your needs.
Although wind turbines aren’t the most common solution for residential areas, wind-generated energy is actually more stable than solar energy. With an appropriately sized turbine, you can meet most or all of your household’s energy needs. Some of the disadvantages of wind turbines are their somewhat unappealing look and noise. However, nowadays, you can find small turbines appropriate for residential use. Nonetheless, before opting for this energy source, make sure that there aren’t any local regulations that prohibit it.
Geothermal energy systems
Geothermal systems are another source of clean, renewable energy generated by earth’s heat. Although this type of system may have a small environmental footprint while being developed, it’s actually quite eco-friendly as it can reduce your home’s carbon footprint significantly by eliminating the need for electricity used for heating or cooling your home. This system consists of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) that use 25 to 50 percent less energy than regular HVAC systems. Furthermore, the equipment produces no noise and requires little space, so it can easily fit in any home design. If you opt for this type of renewable energy system, make sure to check your property’s geological,
spatial and hydrological characteristics that will determine what kind of system you need.
Solar energy systems
Solar panels are one of the most popular and commonly used renewable energy systems that can boost your home value substantially. Depending on your energy needs, a few square feet of solar panels can be enough. Due to their aesthetic appeal, solar panels work well with modern home designs. They can be placed either on your roof or in your backyard. However, the main disadvantage of a solar system is that it produces energy only when the sun is up. Nonetheless, you can now find solar batteries that can store your excess energy which you can then use when there’s no sun.
There’s another possible solution if you want to go with solar energy. Solar shingles are becoming more and more popular as they feature a subtler design than solar panels. These are actually photovoltaic roof tiles that are installed instead of regular shingles. Since they resemble regular roof shingles, they can even blend with a more traditional home design. The initial installation may amount to even $20,000, but around 350 shingles can slash your electricity bill by up to 60 percent. In addition, you may find federal, state or local tax incentives that can reduce the cost of installation.
However, if you’re not in a financial situation to go with an entire solar system, you have other options available. For instance, you can go with a solar water heating system to heat your home and water. Solar water heaters are more affordable than solar panels and easier to install. In addition, they can cut your gas or electricity consumption, increasing your savings in the long run. Solar air conditioning is another possible solution that uses solar power to cool down your home. You can actually combine these two systems as they both use hot water.
A hydropower system generates energy from a flowing water source. Of course, this type of energy system is available only to homeowners who have such a source on their property. Thus, if you’re one of the lucky few, you should definitely invest in a micro hydro generator because even a small stream can generate steady and clean energy and cover your needs at a price significantly lower than wind or solar.
Renewable energy systems may require a sizeable investment upon installation, but they are a profitable home improvement that will boost your home’s value and increase your savings in the long run.