10 Tips for Going Green
Saving money and helping out the environment? Why not! You don't necessarily need to spend a lot of money to "go green." These tips will help you to reduce your heating and cooling costs, all while reducing the amount of natural resources used to keep your home comfortable.
- Insulate your basement, attic and integral garage. Put insulation above unheated spaces. This means that if your basement is unheated, you’ll add insulation to the ceiling, which will keep the floors of your home a little warmer. In the attic, insulate the rafters or unventilated crawl spaces.
- Insulate old water heaters and exposed hot water pipes. Heat could be escaping from older water heaters. As hot water runs through uninsulated pipes, it can cool. Buy insulation wrap and reduce your electric bill by as much as 20 dollars a year. And, once that old hot water heater breaks, replace it with a more energy-efficient model.
- Turn the water heater down. Keep your hot water heating at a comfortable 120 degrees Fahrenheit or around that area.
- Turn down the thermostat or install a programmable one. Lowering the setting by 1 Celsius degree during the winter can save about 10% in energy use. With a programmable thermostat, you can set it to automatically control the temperature. If you aren’t home during the day, why keep your house warm and toasty?
- Change furnace air filters every few months. A dirty filter can block warm air. If you have an old furnace, consider replacing it with a new energy-efficient model. This will save you money in the long run.
- Take advantage of natural heat and light. During the day, leave the blinds open to let the warmth of the sun in. Use less electric lighting and instead work with natural light.
- Close your window coverings at night. This will keep the heat in. If you have curtains or drapes, line them to keep the cold out.
- Seal drafty windows. If you have single-pane windows, hang storm windows or seal them with plastic to keep the heat in. Double-pane windows are best for energy conservation, so if it is time to replace your windows, choose these. Additionally, caulk or weatherstrip any other openings.
- Seal doors and close other openings. Feel a draft coming from your door? If you’ve already caulked and weatherstripped, consider putting a rolled up rug or towel in front of your door to stop the draft. Also, remember to seal the hatch to your attic, close your fireplace damper, and remove window air conditioning units. Heat could escape your house from there.
- Use a humidifier. During the winter months, the air is very dry. Adding a humidifier to your home will cause cooler temperatures to feel warmer. Also, reversing your ceiling fan will push warm air down.