Five Tips for a “Greener” Home
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, houses and commercial buildings use 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. If we all take small steps toward sustainable living, we could reduce that number. Take the opportunity to “go greener” in your home to reduce energy costs when it is time to replace in-house items. Having energy efficient homes and appliances not only affects the environment, but it also affects your wallet.
Doors and Windows – Older windows can often let in drafts as well as UV rays. This makes the heating and cooling system in your home less effective and can cause your power bill to be higher. When properly selected and installed, energy efficient windows can help minimize heating and cooling costs. Additionally, weather stripping around doors and caulking around windows can prevent cold and warm air from escaping your home.
Appliances – When upgrading your home appliances to energy efficient appliances, you can ensure that you will not only enjoy the benefits of using less energy in your home; you will also increase your home’s value when you are ready to sell. Some of these appliances may include tankless water heaters, programmable thermostats and energy efficient washers and dryers. Click here for a list of ENERGY STAR certified home appliances.
Roofing – When it is time to replace your roof, consider shingles, which reflect more of the sun’s rays. Shingles will help repel the heat and reduce the cost of air conditioning in your home. In addition to saving energy, solar reflective shingles last longer than traditional shingles because the likelihood of damage to roofing systems is reduced by minimizing the extremes of temperature change.
Light Bulbs – Switching the light bulbs in your home from incandescent to energy-saving can make a tremendous difference in the energy efficiency of your bulbs. By replacing just one bulb, you are preventing the emission of over 400 pounds of greenhouse gases. Many power companies will even provide energy efficient bulbs for free! Check with your local power company to see if it offers this service.
Water Usage – By installing aerators on faucets and low-flow shower heads, you can reduce water usage in your home. Additionally, appliances such as energy-efficient dishwashers and clothes washers can help reduce the usage of natural resources and decrease your water bill.
You can do many things to create a more environmentally healthy home that will not only help the planet but will also protect your wallet. For more ideas, visit energy.gov.