Energy Bill Breaking the Bank? 5 Easy (and Cheap) Ways to Green Your Home

Photo Via Planet Forward; Create a Federal Incentive for Home Energy Efficiency

There are a variety of options in just about any home when it comes to going green, but there are certain, more effective methods in the effort to go green than others. Whether it is the ability of your home to retain heat or the ability of your appliances to conserve energy, there are likely numerous opportunities you may not be taking advantage of in eco-friendly practices or products. And just because you may have taken a few steps in making your home greener, this doesn’t mean you should become complacent and rest upon your laurels. So, in an effort to further your efforts, here are five ways to green your home.

Fill the Cracks and Seal the Gaps

Energy loss is probably one of the top eco-friendly killers in most homes. Around door seals, between window gaps, out poorly insulated walls or roofs there are all kinds of ways for air to find its way into or out of your home. The remedies to such energy consumption boosters aren’t often that difficult to put in place. A candle held safely in front of possible seepage spots can help pinpoint whether there is indeed an airflow issue. And a few well-place sealants could stop your energy loss quickly and cheaply, enhancing the greenness of your home.

Come Up With an HVAC Plan

Some people might think that just because they’ve installed a digital thermostat in their home that all their heating and cooling issues have been solved and their home is suddenly energy efficient. But while such a device can certainly assist you in your efforts to go green, it can’t make your heating and cooling decisions for you. By coming up with an HVAC plan that helps you to possibly section off certain unused portions of your home, close vents to these areas so that you aren’t wasting energy to heat or cool them, and ensure that your thermostat is set properly and adjusted for seasonal changes may help you in your energy conservation efforts.

Simple Water Savings

When it comes to going green with water savings in your home, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a difficult process. A few low flow faucets and shower heads installed, and simple water reduction practices can save hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water each month. Even a new toilet can reduce your consumption significantly. Just think of how many times a day toilets inside your home are flushed. If you are using an older toilet it could be consuming several gallons more than a newer version. Even if you only flush a toilet five times a day, with a difference of three gallons per flush, that’s 15 gallons of water a day that you are wasting. Over the course of a year that’s nearly 5500 gallons!

Bulbs versus Appliances

When it comes to energy conservation, light bulbs and appliances are both good places to start. However, many people could be underestimating the power of their lighting. Appliances are the logical first consideration when it comes to saving energy because they are large, big ticket items and stand out in people’s minds. However, light bulbs, since they are small, out of the way items often get set by the wayside when it comes to saving energy. Both are good areas to consider when making a greener household, but you shouldn’t underestimate how much of a difference you can make though the use of energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Continued Vigilance

Going green doesn’t just stop when you get things set up the way you want them in your home. You have to keep an eye out for little things that can hurt your attempts at eco-friendliness. From a leaking toilet or a dripping faucet to new products and green innovations there could be numerous ways to maintain or even improve your green home. Keeping up continued vigilance can help you ensure you stay up the latest green trends and keep your home current.

Conclusion

Where you live, your home’s age, your personal habits, and your knowledge regarding green practices and products can all affect how you make your home greener. And with new products always being developed and new ideas constantly on the drawing board, the ability and opportunity to go green is constantly evolving. Continuing to further your education and knowledge upon the subject can keep you in the know and up to date on the best ways to go and stay green.

Steve is president of a home remodeling company in Houston and has been in business for over 25 years. He has experience in all aspects of the industry from custom home building to kitchen remodeling. To see some of his work visit http://www.uniquebuilderstexas.com.
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Comments

  1. Ceiling fans are relatively inexpensive and can help reduce the need for AC.

  2. I live in a log home. Logs provide much better insulation than traditional building – think 14 inch thick logs. Many log homes are not constructed to a high enough standard to be weatherproof, (I have friends who lived in a log house where you could see air between their logs). Those that are still suffer from a universal problem with logs – they expand and contract. Depending on what the weather is like, doors may not shut easily or tightly. The windows in my house are double pane with wooden frames. They expand and contract with the logs. This means you have to be very careful that all your doors are shut, tight, and you have enough weatherstripping to cover the holes that inevitably exist between the doors and the doorframe. Even though CFLs use less electricity, they have some problems. When it is cold – and it gets down to minus fifty here – they can take a long time to come on. Outside, in the winter, they are pretty useless… I don’t know what I will do when they stop making incandescent bulbs….