Are you ready to take the steps necessary for a green home and sustainable living? Not only are green and sustainable living better for the environment, but they can save you money on your energy bills. Here are six surprising and inspiring ways people are making their homes greener.
1. Install Dual-Pane Windows
Older homes may have windows that are single-pane. However, dual-pane windows offer energy saving advantages. As a bonus, you will see a return on any investment in more efficient windows when you go to sell. One of the most desirable features buyers want in a home is updated windows.
2. Buy a Programmable Thermostat
Do you turn your thermostat up and down, depending on how cold or hot you feel at the moment? It is much more energy-efficient to invest in a programmable thermostat that keeps your house at a predictable temperature throughout the day. Reduce energy costs by 10 percent when you install a programmable thermostat.
3. Use Green Construction Materials
Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling an existing home, using green construction materials is a great way to add green features to your home. Even if you aren’t building your home right now, you can incorporate green construction into your regular home maintenance tasks. For example, replacing your old garage door with a green one helps prevent heat loss and gain and results in smaller energy expenditure.
4. Replace Incandescent Bulbs
Another inexpensive fix that will green up your home quickly is to replace all your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. You could save as much as 66 percent on the energy used by the lights in your home with this simple fix. Can’t afford to replace all your bulbs at once? Replace each one as the incandescent bulb blows. Eventually, you will have a house full of CFLs, which also tend to last longer than the incandescent variety.
5. Install New Shower Heads
The typical homeowner uses 165 gallons of water to take a mere 10-minute shower three days a week. However, most people shower every single day, take much longer showers than 10 minutes and have more than one person in the family. There are several ways you can reduce your water consumption, including installing a low-flow shower head and timing yourself to take the shortest shower possible.
Traditional water heaters keep hot water in a tank and use a lot of energy in the process. Although on-demand water heaters are one solution, it might not work as well for large families. Another solution is a solar water heater. Although the initial expenditure will be at least $6000, over time you will see a return on that investment in energy savings. The time it takes to see a return on your investment depends upon how sunny it is where you live.
Making Homes Greener
Making your home greener not only saves you money but allows you to reduce your carbon footprint. Protecting resources for future generations is a smart investment. Although these simple ways will get you started, there are many other things you can implement, both large and small.