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Green Home Makeover: How To Go Green By Making Small Changes
By JonathanDec 06, 2017
Green Home Makeover: How To Go Green By Making Small Changescontractorculture.com
Whether you are an apartment dweller or a homeowner, figuring out how to reduce monthly electrical (and natural gas) bill is usually part of the monthly budget. One of the easiest ways to break down your monthly spend is by taking a look the ways you are currently using energy. It could be that your refrigerator, washer, and dryer, or other large appliances need to be upgraded to more energy-efficient ones. Perhaps there are ways to better seal gaps around windows and doors to keep heat from escaping during the winter. These are examples of getting a few steps closer to ‘going green’ at home. You don’t have to go to extremes or create your own compost trough to convert your home into a more green space. By using just a few of these small suggestions, you will hopefully see big results in your monthly utility bills along with having an impact on the environment.
Install Low-flow and Low-pressure Plumbing in the Bathroom
People joke about them, but replacing your current toilet with a low-flow one will help you in the journey to become a little more green. Why are they so great? These toilets conserve more water per flush than their bigger, H2O guzzling cousins. You can expect to use around 1.5 gallons versus 3-7 gallons each time the toilet is flushed. This definitely is one of the best ways to help cut down on your water bill.
Another way that your bathroom can create a lower impact on Mother Earth is by using low-pressure shower heads. Most people enjoy taking a nice, long shower. However, the amount of water that is used each time you take one account for 20-30% of a home’s total H2O consumption. This means that a normal showerhead uses around 5-8 gallons of water per minute. Using a low-flow showerhead cuts that number down considerably to 2-2.5 gallons per minute. This doesn’t mean that the quality of your daily shower has to suffer. Low-pressure shower heads are specifically built to ensure that enough water comes out along with the right amount of air pressure.
Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors
It’s almost a given that windows are one of the main points where spending a little more on energy-efficient upgrades pays for itself in spades. Heat loss due to poorly sealed or worn out window frames lead to uncomfortable drafts. These will definitely put a big dent in your heating bill. You can easily prevent this by installing ENERGY STAR certified windows and doors. These windows are specifically built to help maintain a consistent temperature in your home. As a result, you will see the return on this investment in the form of a lower electricity and gas bill.
Energy Saving Appliances
Speaking of ENERGY STAR, when you buy appliances that are certified then you are not only saving money, but also reduce the amount of energy consumed by up to 30%. This small update can help you shed hundreds of dollars off of the total amount spent per year on your utilities. Plus, for homeowners looking to sell their homes, these appliances can often increase your asking price.
Consider Using Sustainable Materials
Whether you are renovating a house or building it from the ground up, investing in durable, sustainable materials are not only great to decrease your monthly utility bills, but they also reduce waste. Insulation materials for walls and ceilings that are certified green are a great way to keep your home warm and prevent heat from escaping. One of the best reasons to use sustainable materials is that they are produced in a way that does not incorporate dangerous chemicals and is free of volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs. In addition, these materials help to increase the air quality in your home, making it a healthier option to include in your home.
Change Out Old, Outdated Incandescent Light Bulbs
Who would think that by simply switching out one incandescent bulb for an energy-efficient bulb that you can decrease the amount of energy consumed in a room? By replacing the bulbs in your home you can expect them to use between 25-80% less energy than regular incandescents. Plus, they last up to 25 times longer as well. This means that they don’t need to be replaced as often as their older cousins, which saves you from constantly getting new bulbs. This is one of the best ways to make your home a little more green while saving money in the long run.
With the advent of smart thermostats, the temperature in your home can be preset to work only when you’re home and in a specific room. Even better, with products like the Nest, saving energy is easier than ever. It learns what your routine and temperature preferences to only come one when it needs to no matter the time of year. While this has a larger price tag, in the beginning, this device will pay for itself over a couple of years.
Having a home of your own means that you not only have a space to relax and unwind each day, but it also means taking a responsible approach to managing expenses. Maintaining your home requires taking a good look at ways to be more efficient. With just a few small adjustments, such as changing the type of light bulbs used or upgrading your large appliances can make a big difference in your wallet. Remember that these changes generally take a minimal amount of effort on your part except for a bit of research and a few minutes of time. Going green doesn’t mean that you have to live a spartan existence. By introducing a more eco-friendly routine into your life, not only can you reduce your impact on the environment, Not only that, but you will also make your home into a space that you can feel proud of now that you’ve gone a little greener.