With rising utility costs and increasing concerns of the negative impacts of global warming, many people are seeking out ways to make their home more energy efficient. Going green is easier than you would think, and it can save you some major cash on your electric, water and waste bills. And to add the cherry on top of the cake, you can feel good about yourself for doing something beneficial for the planet. Below is a compilation of the most effective ways to “greenify” your home:
1. Upgrade or Replace Outdated Windows
While the start up costs may scare you away, swapping out your windows for more energy efficient ones may save you thousands in the future. Due to tighter seals, double or triple paned options, and less air escaping, this can save you tons of money in both the cool and warm seasons.
2. Low Flow Water Fixtures
With gallons of water gushing out of typical shower heads, sinks, etc. this leaves lots of water that ends up not being used. So be sure to invest in low flowing water fixtures that reduce the amount of water coming out, and your water bill will thank you.
3. Swap Out Incandescent Light Bulbs for Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) or LED’s
With CFL’s and LDL lights becoming more and more inexpensive, it makes sense to swap out your dated incandescent light bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs use about 25-80% of the electricity that older light bulbs use, and can last 3-25 times longer (http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/how-energy-efficient-light-bulbs-compare-traditional-incandescents).
4.Change Vent Filters Regularly
Something as simple as changing the filters on your vents can have drastic energy saving benefits. The more dust and lint that is captured in the filter, the less efficiently your cooling and heating systems are able to push out air.
5. Turn Down the Air Conditioning
With each degree Fahrenheit the thermostat is increased, you can save 7 to 10 percent in your electric bill on cooling costs. Same principal when it’s cool outside when you lower the thermostat.
6. Ceiling and Portable Fans
Fans are a bit counterintuitive. You would think they reduce the temperature of a room, but they don’t. Why is it then that things feel cooler with a fan? The coolness is not the result of a drop in temperature, but rather the oxygen molecules sweeping the heat off of your skin.
7. Replace Blinds or Curtains with Solar Screens
When it’s blistering hot outside, you want to keep as much sunlight out of your house as possible to keep it as cool as possible inside. Solar panels or specially designed curtains that block out sunlight are great, because in addition to keeping the sun’s warmth our, they also create a barrier and lock the cool air inside.
8.Wash Clothes in Warm or Cool Water
With most things done by machines these days, doing the laundry is easier than ever. Just be sure to wash clothes in warm water instead of hot, and rinse in cool. OR better yet, to save the most money you can wash clothes by hand and hang them up to dry.
9. Vodka, Vinegar and Baking Soda as Cleaners
Store bought brands can often be expensive, and are often toxic to the human body and pets. Consider trading out manufactured cleaning supplies and using natural recipes to safe and avoid chemicals that may be harsh on skin.