The next time you’re looking at making some home improvements, you might want to consider going green. You don’t have to go overboard, and you might have hesitated in making any environmentally friendly changes because they can be expensive. While it’s true that green home improvements can cost a little more upfront, they tend to save you more money over the long run. It’s a big picture improvement that’s more of an investment.
Although improvements can be expensive, there are actually a lot of inexpensive things you can do to improve your home. They won’t break the bank, and they’ll actually help you keep some of your money in the bank in the long run. Going green doesn’t have to cost a lot, and you’ll actually be doing a lot to save money, while reducing your energy consumption at the same time.
Making the Green Switch
We consume a lot of resources in our homes. From water, gas, and electricity, our homes can waste a lot of energy. Going green helps you cut down on some of that waste, and it will help you keep some extra money in your bank account as well. And, as you’ll find out, going green doesn’t mean you have to live any less comfortably or give up anything. In fact, you might find your quality of life in your home will actually improve, and all the while you’re saving money.
The biggest culprits for wasted water are in the bathroom. That’s right, the shower and the toilet. If your toilet is leaking, or old, you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water a day. Combine that with the wasted water in the shower, and the amount of waste is staggering.
But reducing that wasted water is an easy fix, and it will save you money as well. Newer toilets use a lot less water than older toilets. Old toilets could be using as much as 6 gallons of water per flush. That’s a lot, especially considering how often the toilet gets flushed. Newer toilets use around a gallon of water, or even less. That equates to a lot of savings in water, and it’s something you’ll see immediately after installing the new toilet.
In the shower, you’re looking for a low-flow fixture. They limit the flow of water, so you aren’t wasting as much, but they don’t affect water pressure. You have really affordable options, from spending around $20, or you spend over $300. Toilets are typically around $200. You don’t have to spend a whole lot of money to see savings almost immediately, and you can typically install the new fixtures yourself.
If your house was built before 1980, it probably doesn’t have enough insulation. Even if it was built later, it might not have enough insulation. Insulation is the fastest return you can get. When you insulate your home according to current standards, you’ll notice immediate returns. Your home will feel more comfortable year round, and it will take far less to heat or cool your home. You could see reduced energy costs from 10 to 50 percent. That’s huge.
Depending on where you live, you’ll need more or less insulation. But making sure that your home is properly insulated is very important. You can save a lot of money, and you’ll be more comfortable year round. It’s well worth the cost.
New Light Bulbs
You won’t find huge cost savings when it comes to getting new light bulbs, but the savings are there. Your savings will vary, depending on how often you use the lights. But, there are large advantages to using CFLs or LEDs over conventional light bulbs.
LEDs and CFLs usually cost around $9 for a single light bulb, and that might seem really steep. Especially considering how many light bulbs you have in your house. But, when you consider that LEDs can last for decades, spending that much on a light bulb doesn’t seem to be as big of an issue. Couple that with the fact that you’ll be saving around $40 or more over the life of each light bulb, and those savings really start to add up. Not to mention you won’t be changing light bulbs again. At least for a very long time.
A lot of our energy costs come from setting the thermostat and forgetting about it. We don’t really need the furnace blasting when we’re sleeping, and we don’t want to freeze out the house when we aren’t home. A programmable thermostat takes care of those issues automatically.
There are cheap options that work well. Or, you can get high tech and have smart thermostats that know when you’re coming home and will adjust the thermostat automatically. Either way, using a programmable thermostat can greatly help reduce unnecessary energy costs.