As our carbon “footprint” begins to resemble a full-out, “Earth Angel”-style print, it’s no surprise that eco-friendly construction practices have skyrocketed over the course of the last decade. More and more homes and commercial buildings are undergoing “green” renovations and upgrade projects to cut costs, conserve energy, and ultimately increase the probability that we’re actually here in fifty years.
Going green rarely requires a colossal budget or extensive time. With Summer in full effect, now is the perfect time to tackle that remodeling project you have put off for the last few years and an excellent opportunity to save some cash in the process!
The word “renovation” generally triggers the three E’s: extensive, exhaustive and expensive. We’re here to show you that a “greenovation” is actually fairly simple and straightforward.
Upgrade To A Programmable Thermostat
For good reason, these devices have become the norm for most new homes. Since they have to be adjusted by hand, manual thermostats are an incredibly inefficient. Alternatively, automatic counterparts feature a number of pre-set configurations, allowing homeowners to fully customize the temperature output of their heating and cooling system. It is more expensive to keep a home at 72 degrees than it is to adjust the temperature according to your schedule.
Swap Out Energy-Hogging Light Bulbs
Conventional incandescents may be bright, but they are not light (on the wallet)! Replace the old lights in your home with a new set of CFL or LEDs, and expect savings up to $60 per bulb (that’s the equivalent of $10,000 at Taco Bell). To give you an idea of their efficiency, LED-lighting technology lasts 25 times as long and consumes 80% less energy than regular 60-watt bulbs!
Double-Check Your Windows And Doors
You should always check these for potential intruders, but in this case, it’s actually what might leave your home that matters. Windows and doors can be a major source of heat loss. This is why more people opt for energy efficient windows and doors. By considerably lowering energy costs, they represent substantial savings while providing comfort to your home. Not to mention, you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you’ve provided amazing benefits to this beautiful, healing planet.
Don’t Let The Water Run
We’re not talking about the type Drake exhibits on the microphone; we’re talking about your toilet. Did you know that conventional toilets consume up to 3.5 gallons of water per flush? PER flush? Thankfully, you can save a few hundred gallons per month by converting to a low flow model? (PER month) Water conservation is a vitally important aspect of green living, and this is an excellent place to start. Since the sole purpose of toilets and drains is to flush away waste, there is no need to use any more than is necessary. Install a high-efficiency toilet and watch that utility bill drop (down low)!
When you go to buy new appliances, always choose an Energy Star model. Manufacturers are required to meet strict industry standards in order to have their products qualify, so customers who purchase them reap the benefits. Savings run up to 50% and that is definitely no small measure. Dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters, washers, dryers, and much more are available via ENERGY STAR. The more you use, the more you save.
Lastly, you may also want to schedule an energy audit to assess your home’s current energy-efficiency. Local utility companies typically offer these to residents free of charge!