Decreasing annual operational costs can come in handy for many residential property owners. For those looking to decrease monthly utility bills, considerable opportunities are available. A property owner looking for technologies that can provide immediate saving may want to consider looking into the top green trends for the year for inspiration.
Here are four green renovation trends for 2014:
1) Smart thermostats. Including a smart thermostat in the design or renovation of a home will increase the energy efficiency of a property. According to JOMI Construction, a smart thermostat can help a homeowner reduce monthly energy bills by up to 20 percent. This eco-friendly technology provides a homeowner greater control of the heating or cooling system in his or her house. For example, an individual is able to set a heater to increase the temperature being produced an hour before coming home from work so that the system is not creating warmth and burning energy when no one is in the house to appreciate the expense.
2) Net zero energy. More properties are being designed to achieve net zero energy status. The Improvement Center reported that to achieve this claim, a property must produce as much energy as it consumes on a net annual basis. A home may do this by using either solar, wind or geothermal energy to power everything. This construction concept is so popular that the state of California has included in its building code a new requirement that all new homes are to be constructed to achieve net zero energy standards beginning in 2020.
3) Light emitting diodes. LED bulbs provide superior illumination and lighting control compared to incandescent bulbs. If these two qualities are not enough to encourage a switch, the operational savings they also contribute should make a homeowner reconsider. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an ENERGY STAR rated LED bulb uses at least 75 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb. The lighting technology also reduces maintenance costs because they last substantially longer. An LED lasts 35 to 50 times longer than an incandescent and 2 to 5 times longer than a fluorescent.
4) Geothermal heat pump. A homeowner intent on reducing his or her operational costs can do no better than investing in geothermal technology. The eco-friendly solution uses the solar power stored within the earth to heat and cool a structure. As a result, a homeowner is able to pull almost all necessary energy for a property right from the ground and cut heating and cooling costs significantly. The temperature of the earth remains consistent and temperate, which means that a house will never get too hot or cold during the year – regardless of the temperature outside.Residential Energy Efficiency