As a homeowner you are always looking for ways to save money, and when you can also do it in an environmentally friendly way it is even better. Living ‘green’ means having a lifestyle that strives to preserve the resources of the Earth while minimizing pollution or negative impact to the environment. In years past this has been a difficult goal to achieve as the means for achieving it were not readily available. Fortunately today you can make many small changes to your home that can add up to big savings. Here are 7 green energy tips for the modern household:
1. Insulate Window and Door Openings
One of the main ways for warm air to escape during the cold winter months is around the openings in your home. Doors and windows not only have to be fully insulated in their construction but also have adequate insulation around them. If they are older then there is a decent chance this could be improved. Fortunately it is quite easy to check as you can pull off the molding around to inspect the insulation. If it is inadequate then you can simply add more to any openings that are lacking.
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2. Use Renewable Materials When Possible
Wikipedia defines a renewable resource as one that replenishes to overcome depletion by usage. Some examples are biomass, timber, solar energy, paper, certain types of fuel. If we can use as much of this during construction projects around the home then the environment will greatly benefit. It may take more planning to find the right companies but they are out there, and more are being launched every year. It’s a profitable industry for newer companies to be in, and it also provides a great benefit to the planet.
3. Make Green Choices With New Items
There are many items you need to purchase on a regular basis that can be energy efficient. One such example is light bulbs as you can now purchase LED bulbs that use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs. Over time the savings in electricity will really add up. Another item you can find that is designed with energy savings in mind is a vacuum cleaner. Many of the top brands are putting a lot of thought into how to build a quality cleaner that uses less energy. Some of the best and highly recommended Miele vacuum cleaners not only use less electricity but also are constructed with some renewable materials.
4. Find Utility Companies That Provide Choices
More and more utility companies are offering different choices for the actual power that comes to your home. Many have green choices like wind and solar that can be included as part of your monthly output. A percentage of what the company offers will be from these green choices and in most cases the cost won’t be much different. There will be no difference to you but over time there will be a huge difference to the environment.
5. Purchase Appliances Labeled As Energy Star
When buying a new appliance like a washer, dryer, refrigerator, or stove you should make sure it is labeled as Energy Star. Not only will it use less energy and save you money on your utilities each year but in many cases you can get a tax credit for the purchase. It’s best to first check with your local county or state tax department, or even ask the appliance store. They should have all the information you need to make an informed purchase.
6. Use Colder Water Whenever Possible
Heating up water uses some energy so you should strive to only use hot water when necessary. It might be hard to take colder showers but perhaps you can take shorter ones. Also try to wash your clothes on cold water when possible, to conserve hot water. Another option would be to install a tankless water heater as they do not waste hardly any energy when hot water is needed. Standard water heaters are notorious for wasting a lot of energy heating and re-heating water that just sits there ready to be used.
7. Install Small Solar Panels On Your House
This option would depend on if you have a good line of sight to the southern sky, to pickup the most direct sunlight all year round. If you do have this then you could look into installing solar panels on your home. Not only can this be used to power your own home but you can also sell some of the excess energy back to your utility company. This can go right back into the grid to get you cash in your pocket while also providing renewable energy to others. That is a great situation to be in, for you and your neighbors.
It’s easy to see that a few changes to your life can make a big difference. By making energy efficient or ‘green’ choices around your home you can not only save money but also help the environment. You don’t have to do everything at once either. Simply pick a small goal and do that the first year. Over time you can keep adding more green choices until your household is consuming much less energy than before.