When you hear the phrase “going green” it may bring up images of expansive solar farms, giant wind turbines and hybrid cars, but did you know there are also many simple ways to make your home green as well? And not only that, some of them can be done in as little as 30 minutes.
We will give you some very quick and affordable ways to create an eco-friendly home that doesn’t involve hiring a contractor or making a trip to the local car dealership. And they will not only help your community, but also reduce your energy use as well.
Traditional light bulbs have a much shorter lifespan and often increase your electricity costs by using more energy. A simple switch to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will save you from having to replace bulbs as often in addition to lowering your utility bills.
In addition to simply taking shorter showers and not leaving faucets on, you can also quickly install low-flow shower heads in your bathrooms and aerators on your faucets to reduce hot water usage. These combined efforts will quickly pay dividends in the form of savings on your water bills going forward.
Instead of running a typical hour-long drying cycle for every load of laundry, try hanging and air-drying your clothes after washing. Depending on how many loads of laundry you’re doing each week, this simple change could result in noticeable savings on your electricity bills. As a bonus, washing your clothes in strictly cold water can reduce you bill even more as it takes some “heat” off your water heater.
Most home thermostats have a feature which allows you to adjust what times you have it running during the day. By having it off or running at a lower temperature while you’re away, you can significantly reduce your monthly utility bills. If you’re not currently using this set-it-and-forget-it feature, it can be one of the easiest ways to start “greening-up” your home.
This can be done on a continual basis anytime you need to replace something in your kitchen or other area of your home. By simply purchasing appliances with an Energy Star certification, you can begin to green your home appliances one item at a time. Energy Star certification simply means that the product has been tested and proven to meet a high level of energy efficiency.
This is a simple process that can usually be done online in a matter of minutes. Simply choose an energy supplier and enroll in one of their renewable energy plans. This rarely involves any disruption in service or additional equipment to buy so the transition is usually seamless. Powervine Energy offers several renewable energy plans if this is something you have been considering.
Does your community collect leaves and grass clippings as part of a separate “trash” collection? Many communities are jumping on the collective composting idea and requiring “green waste” to be bagged in paper bags or just gathered in bins without plastic bags. Keeping green waste out of land fill is a win for all, especially if your community offers the composted earth back to community members to nourish home gardens.
While this one may involve some initial investment at first, adding weatherstripping around your doors and caulk around your windows can lead to reduced energy use and cost savings going forward. Eliminating air leaks takes the pressure off your HVAC system to keep your home at a consistent comfortable temperature throughout the day.
We hope these simple tips will help you both make your home much “greener” going forward and reduce your energy costs as well.