How you can go green at home and save long term | PostIndependent.com

How you can go green at home and save long term

Sean de Moraes

Sean de Moraes

I really enjoyed reading Wednesday's paper. Kudos to Toad & Co., Sweet Adventures and the Glenwood Adventure Co. for doing their part in going green. While there is a large initial cost, they are looking at the long-term savings.

There are several energy-saving devices we can use in our own homes, too, that have an initial cost but long-term savings.

While the average person stays in their home for 14 years, how long you plan to stay in your home may determine if it's worth the savings if that's the only motivation you have. Others may choose to make these changes just to contribute their part to helping the environment.

Solar: Going solar is a huge initial expense, but there are also huge benefits. To begin with, there are no emissions that hurt the environment. It's a clean and renewable energy that uses the sun to produce energy. It can make your home more valuable to a buyer when you decide to sell, some communities will buy back the energy you don't use that you are producing and you will hopefully have a $0 electricity bill. How nice would that be with all of the electronic devices we are constantly charging in our homes?

Smart thermostat: There are several brands of so-called smart thermostats. One, Nest, claims that on average its thermostats save homeowners 10-12 percent on their heating bills and 15 percent on cooling bills. Based on typical energy costs, this would save a homeowner about $140 per year, meaning that it would take about 1.5 years to recoup the initial $250 cost. The Nest learns from you, knows when your home or away and learns the temperature you like. It programs itself and creates a schedule that is specific to your lifestyle and desired temperature.

Light bulbs: CFL, LED and incandescent. The biggest difference of CFL and incandescent bulbs is how much energy it uses over time. A CFL bulb will use about 70 percent less energy, last longer and is only slightly more expensive. What people don't like about them is that it takes longer for them to reach full brightness, or warm up. LED is the least expensive over time. While they are the most expensive bulbs to purchase initially, they will also last the longest at almost 3 times longer than CFLs and 20 times longer than a traditional incandescent.

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The above sampling of items are those that will cost you actual hard-earned dollars. There are several other things we can be doing in our daily lives that will not only help us save money, but will in turn help you do your part in being environmentally friendly.

Think about the little things. Grab a blanket and turn your home temperature down a few degrees this winter, turn off your lights when you leave a room, turn your computer off when you're not using it or cut your shower time. Just do something and you will not only be helping the environment, but also your pocketbook this winter.

Sean de Moraes is an agent with Roaring Fork Sotheby's.

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