Are your energy bills piling up along with your concern for the environment? Well, worry no more because there are affordable ways to go “green”. With a few repairs you’ll see your energy bill lowered in no time! First item on the list to replace: those old incandescent light-bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are power-draining; only using 10% of energy for power and 90% is escaped heat !! Replace these with compact florescent light-bulbs
(CFL’s). The cost of CFL’s are slightly higher but they use less energy and last longer. After using CFL’s, recycle them properly because they contain a small amount of mercury. Usually the store you purchase the bulbs at will recycle them as well.
The second repair also eliminates useless power-drains. All electronic gadgets use energy if plug in but not in use, it’s called standby power. Instead of running around constantly unplugging and plugging things in, use a smart power strip. So, now you can turn off all electronics using standby power with a flip of a switch. Smart power strips also offer power surge protection for your electronics! Most models of smart power strips will cost you about $30. This repair will save more energy use than you realize.
Now, we need to address the toilet that’s constantly wasting water. On average Americans flush 4.8 billion gallons of water everyday. If your toilet is an older model, before 1992, you are wasting a lot of water. Requirements have been placed on newer toilets to control the water used with each flush. There is a new kind of dual-flush toilet, the Caroma, the amount of water used to flush depends on what “function” you do. This way there is a proper amount of water used to flush and none wasted. These new toilets are truly remarkable and the cost will run you about $400-800. If this model type isn’t right for you there is basic models available that are water use efficient.
After reducing your water consumption, we can plant some trees. Cooling your home actually starts outside your home. Planting shade trees around your home can reduce energy cost up to 30%. In the winter they will help shield icy winds from your home and block the hot sun in the summertime. Make a small trip to your local nursery and find the ideal shade trees for your area.
Finally, we must protect your home from losing air/heat from inside. Most air/heat is lost through cracks in doors and windows. Try and locate any air leaks you may have in your house. You can seal these leaks with weather stripping or caulking. You can even go further when protecting your windows with tinting. Window tinting will help reduce the amount of heat loss and gained in your home.
You are now armed with the basic knowledge you need to start being “green”. Once you implement these changes you will see the reduction in your energy bills. Once you have the basics accomplished you can move on to the bigger “greener” changes.