Making the decision to be greener in your home is not only great for the climate but has recently become more economically viable for most. Most green appliances or energy efficient updates to the home are no longer out of reach for middle class Americans; as the technology driving these items has improved the costs of these items have become much more affordable and accessible to the public. The public’s acceptance of climate change has grown substantially in the past ten years, and it’s no longer strange to be concerned about your own carbon footprint if for no other reason than saving money. The goal of this post is to help the average home owner find ways to lower their impact on the environment and in turn safe some green as well. Here are some tips to greenify your home:  

 

  • Sealing your windows: When you have small gaps or other ways your air can leak out of your home, you waste a lot of your heating and cooling energy. Use silicone caulk to seal the cracks in your drywall and consider shrink wrapping your windows during the winter. It’s a small change but it can make a big difference in your heating and cooling efficiency. All it takes to seal your windows is an in expensive kit from your local hardware store, a hair dryer and about 15 mins of your time.  

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  • Cold Water Washing: Washing your clothes in cold water saves a dramatic amount of energy, considering water heating is typically the second highest energy expense in your home. Cold water washing also benefits the colors of your clothes and can make your clothes last longer than washing in hot water.  

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  • Changing Your Light Bulbs: Replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED’s or CFL bulbs can save a significant amount of energy. CFL’s use about 70% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last much longer. Contact your local energy company to see if they have a program for free energy efficient bulbs, many often do and that can help offset the costs. 

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  • Programmable Thermostat: Using a programmable thermostat optimizes the heating and cooling operations within your home by only running your HVAC system when necessary. Since heating and cooling are typically the biggest energy user, a programmable thermostat can make a significant impact right away. New models have WIFI capability and can be controlled from your mobile phone. Very convenient for those you who may be on the go a lot and might forget to set your thermostat.  

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  • Repair Leaky Faucets: Leaky taps can waste 140 gallons of water per week. Most faucet repair is simple and can be done in the matter of 10-20 minutes with a few tools and YouTube. Leaky faucets can usually be fixed by replacing the seat washer, here is a resource that goes into common leaky faucet repairs by faucet type. Another common faucet problem is that the faucet aerator gets clogged and needs to be empty. Cleaning the aerator can fix faucets with suddenly decreased water pressure. Not only will you save some money in water costs, but you’ll learn a valuable skill as well!  

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  • Install A Low-Flow Shower Head: Water costs a lot and using a shower head that isn’t low flow wastes valuable water which is expensive and unnecessary. Modern low-flow shower head models can achieve higher water pressure than those of old, so fear not if you like a powerful shower! 

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  • Install a Low-Flow Toilet: Water consumption via your toilet adds up quickly. Because this part of your plumbing system is used so frequently, having a toilet that unnecessarily wastes water can cost you a lot of money in water consumption. Newer low-flow toilet models are very good at removing waste and save a lot of water in the process.  

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  • Attic Insulation: By adding insulation to your attic, you drastically improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. It’s also one of the highest return on investment home improvement projects a homeowner can take on, so if you have some extra money consider putting this at the top of your list.  

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  • Replacing Old Appliances: Older appliances have been significantly out paced by modern technology when it comes to energy efficiency. When your older appliances start to give you trouble, consider upgrading to an Energy Star certified model. If possible, upgrade them one by one that way you can offset the initial costs with time in between.  

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So, there you have it, a few ways you as a homeowner can greenify your home. While this post is in no means fully comprehensive, it will give you a great start to lower your impact on both the environment and your wallet. From there you can move on to optimizing more areas of your home and further reducing your energy consumption!