With the new year officially on the clock, it’s time to start looking at making those big changes just in time for 2015. What better place to start than with some changes where you spend most of your free time…home! With National Cut Your Energy Costs Day just a day away, we’re here to provide you with all the tips you need to make sure your home is green to go!
But wait, why bother with making your home energy efficient? Well besides the obvious reason of saving big bucks AND lending a big hand to mother nature, there’s also the fact that making the initiative to have a green home is one of the few places that implementing energy efficient solutions will yield results remarkably quick. Right after you’ve made these changes, it’s not uncommon to see a drop in utility bills and spending within a few billing cycles! Even using reusable options can help to cut the average cost of spending in your home.
Consider that home appliances generally play a major role in hiking up your energy costs. But do you know just how big that role is? Well, just skipping on your dishwashers drying cycle and allowing it to air dry can cut your energy costs by up to 20% in the long haul! As if that’s not reason enough, you simply have to take into account that environmental benefits will be present, too. For example, just by lowering your water heater by 10 degrees can lessen your homes carbon dioxide output by 600 pounds a year! Try lowering the thermostat on a water heater to 120 degrees instead of the standard 140 to begin reaping the benefits and cutting your energy costs.
Whether you’re looking to make big changes or minor adjustments, every little bit counts towards making a major difference. Start by pinpointing the lights in your home that you tend to use the most. For each house, that could be different, whether it’s the light in your living room, porch or even your bedroom. By replacing the 5 most frequently used with Energy Star-qualified bulbs, you’ll be well on your way to saving money.
Even if you’re looking to start a little bit smaller, simply reduce your use of heat in appliances like washers and driers. As simple as it may sound, the results could be astronomically beneficial to your energy costs. In fact, LG Electronics reports that approximately 90% of energy used by these machines is dedicated solely to heating. Make use of cold-water settings and even hanging clothes to dry every now and then. All in all, there are a ton of ways to easily reduce your energy costs at home, whether it’s installing energy efficient appliances or just unplugging products when they’re not in use, the benefits you (and our earth) will see in the long run are clear.
[Image Source: Today Online]
Updating your house to make it more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly can be costly. Installing a solar electrical system or replacing your hot water tank with an on-demand system can set you back thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. You may not save enough money on these types of upgrades to cover your investment for decades. However, there are several quick and inexpensive green upgrades you can make to your house that will start paying off quickly.
• Install Faucet Aerators – $10
An aerator is a device that fits on or into the end of a faucet. It forces water through tiny holes, restricting water flow but making the flow feel stronger. It can be used on either kitchen or bathroom sinks and can be found in water saving showerheads. An aerator can cost as little as $10 and can lower water use by up to 50%.
• Replace an Old Dishwasher – $300
According to Energy Star, if you replace a dishwasher built before 1994 with a new Energy Star model, you will save 10 gallons of water per cycle. At one cycle a day, that’s 3,650 gallons of water per year. New energy-efficient dishwashers start at around $300.
• Install Ceiling Fans – $50
They can make both your air conditioner and heat unit operate more efficiently. Ceiling fans circulate the air in the house, drawing the cool air from the air conditioner and distributing it around the house. They also push warm air from the heat pump down from the ceiling back into the living space to reduce the amount of time the furnace has to run. Most ceiling fans have a switch that reverses the direction the fan turns for the winter setting.
• Swap out Older Toilets – $150
Older toilets can use up to 3.5 gallons of water for every flush, which can add up to over 7,100 gallons per year- per person. New efficient toilets use as little as one gallon per flush or just over 1,900 gallons per year.
• Buy Compact Florescent Light Bulbs – $3 Each
Changing your light bulbs from incandescent to compact florescent is the easiest green switch of all. Compact Florescent Light bulbs (CFLs) cost $2 to $3 each but can save up to $40 over the course of their lifetime. They last 10 times longer than incandescent and use much less electricity.
The Bottom Line
Going green isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. There are many inexpensive and cost-effective changes that make a noticeable difference. Once the savings from these changes start accumulating, they can be used to start investing in larger upgrades.