Home Improvements That Pay You Back

There has been a lot of focus over the last couple years on why we should be changing our homes to be more eco-friendly. This focus and push is well justified if you ask me.  Being eco-friendly is necessary to keep our environment healthy. We have already done so much damage. Without some serious changes to how we live, we might not be living as long as we think.

For those of you less green and money conscious folks, I can tell you that being green also saves you money. Eco- friendly methods are proven to be cost efficient. Today I wanted to share with you how you can be green in your home and at the same time make money. Here is how:

So, as you can see, there are many different things one can do to minimize your impact on the environment and save money at the same time.

I hope this illustration moves you with some incentives to join me in living an eco-friendly and financially responsible life. We have an obligation to do what we can to look after our planet. It is our home and just like we look after our individual homes, we need to come together and look after our universal home.

So, have you made any changes to your home to save energy and make money? What kinds of things have you done? Please share. 


Home Improvements That Pay You Back — 39 Comments

  1. The first thing I did after buying a house was to replace all incandescent bulbs with energy efficient CFLs. Sure the initial cost was high, but hopefully they’ll last long enough to break even!

  2. We are starting to remodel in very small steps. We rplaced the carpeting in the living room. Next is redoing the bathrooms. Fortunately, my utilities are pretty low (Less tha $85 per month)so it does not justify solar at these cost levels.

  3. Great illustration! I know there are a lot of tax incentives available right now to help pay for these things, too.

    I think one of the main things to look at is payoff time, which can be quite long on some of these projects. Hopefully the amount of time will go down as technology becomes more commonplace and cheaper to install.

  4. I love the picture too. If we ever live in a stand alone home again, I’ll definitely invest in these energy saving items. We are in a condo now and can’t do much. At least we are not using a lot of electricity. The concrete building retain the heat surprisingly well.

  5. I’m surprised radiant heating isn’t more available… do you know what the “repair” issues are… in other words, what is the shelf life of the plumbing under the concrete foundation?

    • There have been lots of issues with installation as far as I have read. Here are some things to make sure happen if installing this kind of heat:

      -Insulate the slab perimeter, making sure that the insulation design does not rely on foam placed against the slab perimeter and extending above grade up to siding where it will invite termites or carpenter ants into the structure.
      -Place the radiant heat tubing at the industry-recommended depth down from the surface of the slab. Typically the maximum depth that tubing should be placed in a concrete floor slab is 2″ down from the finished floor surface.
      -Supervise: If you cannot be present at the job site at critical stages in construction, find someone knowledgeable who can inspect for you before the work continues.

  6. Great post and visual aid! I think this is definitely the wave of the future. I’m in a beginner home right now, and have used a provincial tax-credit to install more efficient windows and siding. In a 3-4 years when we build our dream house I am definitely going to put in geothermal heating (fantastic investment) and solar heating. They are fantastic long-term investments (especially with energy costs inevitably rising, and the growing efficiency of solar energy).

    Right now I currently live in a fairly northern climate, and heat with a wood stove. I burn about 8 cords of wood a year. The financial impact is minimal because I cut my own firewood. In an environmental sense how “green” is this?

    • We also live in a northern climate and it does get cold. My parents have a fireplace and use it to cut down on their heating costs. Burning wood isn’t the cleanest burn but it is better than other things that go into the atmosphere. The biggest issue is the cutting down trees part if you ask me. There is already such a tree shortage on the planet that there is concerns about maintaining safe air to breath. We need to grow millions more trees to regain the balance. Don’t want to shoot you down though. You have some great ideas for the future that would minimize this. The sad thing is there is no truly green solution. They all seem to have some kind of eco impact in the end.

  7. Due to my Home owners association. I can’t make any energy efficient changes like that are specified within the post. I added a deck and a fence. Those two things increased my property value by their cost.

  8. We have done all the insulation that can be done but still we have a very old house (built in 1903, no less); lovely but old. So we still struggle with drafts. What I would like to do is to have solar panels – probably will tackle this one next.

  9. Cool Infographic! I need to work on getting my electricity bill down, it is outrageous at the moment! I think it has a lot to do with using the central heating / cooling, but with a baby and a pregnant wife at home comfort is pretty high on the agenda at the moment.

    • Well it depends on where you live and what is safe I find. In some places that get really hot you do need to run things like AC constantly so no one ends up with heat stroke. If anything see if you could improve your central unit to be more energy efficient without compromising outputs. Congrats on baby #2 by the way. Very exciting.

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