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3 Easy Steps Toward a High Efficiency or "Net-Zero" Home


We all want to save money.

We all want to take better care of the Northwoods for future generations.

But, aren’t energy efficient homes only something that the wealthy can afford?


Over the past decade, owning an “eco-friendly” home has gone from a fad, to a necessity in many neighborhoods across the Midwest. The Northwoods is no exception. With new regulations and tax breaks from state and federal agencies, the time has never been better to pursue an eco-friendly or “Net-Zero” home.


A Net-Zero home is a dwelling that uses 60% – 70% less energy than a conventional one.

To better educate homeowners in how a home like this functions, Dell Tech produced this helpful infographic:


In many regions of the country, technologies like geothermal heating & cooling and solar energy are out of reach because of climate restrictions. But, that’s not the case in Northern Wisconsin. We average more sunny and windy days than most of the Northern US, and our abundant high-water table provide us with optimal geothermal system conditions.

With solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal units outside the scope of many Northwoods homeowners’ budgets (despite tax breaks in the $ thousands), there are still many smaller fixes that can be made to home to make it more energy efficient and start saving money right away.

1. Energy Efficient Lighting.

Though many homeowners have switched to CFL lighting, many of us still use high-energy bulbs under our countertops and in our recess lighting. Switching over to LED and OLED lights for these outlets can cut monthly costs by up to $30 in most mid-sized homes.

2. High-Performance Thermal Windows

When we do a blower-door test for home efficiency, drafty windows are often the top culprit for a home’s energy woes. Our community is full of older homes with windows leaking warm air out and cold air in. Knowing how much money they could save, my in-laws make an investment every year with their tax return – they replace at least two windows in their old farmhouse. They have nearly their whole home over the last 6 years and already, they see the savings in their monthly utility bill.

3. AI Energy Management in the Home

Smart and “learning” thermostats are old news in most of the country, but here in the Northwoods (where they are needed most), they are slow in catching on. The average smart thermostat pays for itself in its first 18 months of use – that’s a savings of up to $300 over the course of two years. Every year after that, it’s just money that you aren’t spending anymore.

Does this all seem daunting? Are you ready to start making your home more efficient but would like a professional’s opinion on where to start? Let us know in the comments below, or fill out the form and we’ll be in touch.

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