Researchers are finding more “green” or eco-friendly ways for homeowners to turn their abode into an energy efficient living space. Some options being offered in the green market can be expensive home improvement projects, but there are green living
solutions for homeowners who are on a budget and feel ethically motivated to care for the planet.
“If every American home replaced one light bulb with an Energy Star qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than three million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars,” according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Energy. Replacing old light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs is not only an easy, inexpensive green solution, but also is an added benefit for consumers since they last up to ten times longer.
Living green can also be just as simple as changing the air filter at least every 3 months, and even more regularly during the winter and summer months when the heating and cooling systems are used more frequently. Changing air filters on a regular basis helps the system to either cool or heat a home more effectively and prevents any major repairs in the future.
Programmable thermostats is also another energy efficient, safe, green product to add to any home. The product has several pre-programmed controls that allow homeowners to set it to a certain temperature during their time in and away from their home. Programmable thermostats are also more accurate and does not contain mercury.
Another simple green solution is to wrap a storage water heater with an insulation jacket or blanket, which can reduce heat losses by 25 to 45 percent. This also means a monthly savings in energy bills.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. uses more than 1.2 trillion gallons of water indoors each year. To encourage conservation, low flow showerheads and faucets were developed, which saves 25 to 60 percent of water. Some low flow shower heads have a feature that allows you to pause the flow of water while you soap and shampoo. These fixtures save not just water, but also saves energy allowing less of it to heat up water.
At the end of the year, take time to look over energy bills and proudly highlight areas where you saved money and the environment.