Solar panels are generally installed with the goal of reducing power bills in homes and businesses. However, even better results are possible when a solar power system is combined with other sensible energy efficiency measures. In this case, there are two amounts that get subtracted from your bill: the kilowatt-hour savings achieved by efficient appliances, and the clean power produced by solar panels.
Keep in mind that solar panels don’t reduce the amount of electricity consumed by your property. They reduce the net consumption measured by the power meter, but your total energy usage remains the same.
For example, if a home uses 15,000 kWh per year and a rooftop solar system generates 9,000 kWh, the power meter will only register 6,000 kWh of net consumption. However, this doesn’t change the fact that the home is using 15,000 kWh.
Planning to Sell or Refinance? Improve Your Home First!
Some people will do home improvements because they want to live in a nicer home. Others will complete them so that they can sell their home for a more. Still others want to refinance, and need to increase the value to get rid of that pesky PMI. And there are even those that are seeking a reverse mortgage soon, and they want to make sure their monthly checks are large enough.
No matter your reason, you don’t want to dump a bunch of time and money into little improvements that won’t affect the value of your house very much. You want to focus on the top improvements to increase your home’s value. Here are a few things that you can do.
Touching up that paint that has been marred, chipped, scraped, and scuffed over the years makes the home feel new. Just don’t get too crazy, an orange, yellow, and green living room is probably too much for potential buyers. 😉
Cost: $3.00 to $6.00 per sq. ft. on average, depending on the paint quality, amount of prep work required, and overall size of the project. A typical interior remodeling painting project for the whole house may cost between $3,000 and $6,000 on average.
When deciding to make the switch from conventional incandescent lighting to an Eco-friendly alternative, don’t limit yourself to CFLs or LED bulbs. Instead, consider using LED strip lights. They are an excellent choice for functionality, as well as for a variety of decorative uses.
And thanks to their overall durability and longevity, range of colors, and LED strip lights can be used almost anywhere. Here are more reasons why you should consider them:
1. Easy Installation
Most LED light strips come with adhesive on the back that allows you to “peel and stick” them wherever you like to place the strips.
2. Energy Efficient
LED lights use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights and up to 50 percent less than CFLs, making them a superior lighting source for energy efficiency.
The central feature of LED strip lights is their flexibility. Unlike bulbs, they can be attached to curved surfaces, corners or molded into almost any shape.
Unlike fluorescents, LED lights do not contain mercury or other harsh chemicals. Therefore, they don’t require special disposal or pose a health risk if dropped.
LED lights are built with durable components that are made to withstand harsh conditions. They are designed to hold up to heavy vibrations, outside elements and external impacts.
6. Cost Effective
Although the initial cost of LED lights is more than their counterparts, their long-life, durability and energy-efficiency make them more cost effective.
If the sticker shock is still holding you back, LED light strips may be the best way to begin. Most will be less expensive than LED bulbs and a great way to see the value before making a complete switch. You will also save money on maintenance, tools and lighting fixtures.
LED lights can be recycled since they have no harsh chemicals. Plus, their longevity and low energy use make them the ideal solution to Eco-friendly lighting.
8. Low Temperature
Conventional bulbs use 90 percent of their energy as heat and CFL’s use 80 percent, whereas LED’s stay completely cool. This makes LED’s excellent to use in children, pet and heat sensitive areas.
Strip LED lights are available in waterproof tubes or ribbons. They are excellent to use in fish tanks, on vehicles and in outdoor areas.