It really does pay to go green. By doing little things to make your home a little more eco-friendly, you’re helping the environment and making significant savings on your bills. If you want to further reduce your energy consumption, you can invest in a few home remodels to make your whole house green. Some might look expensive initially, but they will pay for themselves with the money you save on your heating and electricity.
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Improve your insulation
During winter, you expect your energy bills to go up because you’re turning up the thermostat to keep you home warm. Unfortunately, if your insulation is poor, you might as well be paying to heat the air outside your house. Effective insulation will slow the rate that heat escapes from your house in winter, and will also slow the rate that heat gets into your house during the summer. Around 25% of heat lost from an uninsulated home goes through the roof, so it’s a good idea to hire a professional roof repair company to help you properly insulate your loft. The last thing you want is to turn a money-saving project into an expensive repair if you do something wrong. Remember to cover your pipes with insulation, as this could prevent them from bursting in the middle of winter.
You should also add new insulation along your walls and ceiling for maximum efficiency. Use caulking or weather stripping to make sure doors and windows are properly sealed. Once you have effectively insulated your home, you may also find that you don’t need to turn up your thermostat as much to compensate for the escaped heat.
Install double glazing
Heat also escapes through the cracks in old windows. If your windows are old, leaky, and obviously made of wood, then it’s past time to upgrade to something more efficient. Double pane windows and other vinyl frames are much better than single pane windows and aluminum frames. Upgrading doesn’t have to cost much either, as there are plenty of installation companies willing to give you a good quote.
Consider solar panels
Solar panels can save you a lot of money in the long run because they help your house generate its own electricity. Even if you don’t live in an area with high levels of sun, solar panels can still significantly cut your energy bills. Not only will they save you money on heat and electricity, but they earn you a discount on your property tax. Ideally, you should hire professionals to fit them for you, but you can also save a bit of extra money by doing them yourself.
Set the correct temperatures
Your refrigerator and freezer are probably the biggest electrical energy consumers in your house. Take steps to make sure they’re not working harder than necessary. Fridges do their job at around 37 Fahrenheit and freezers set at -3 Fahrenheit keep things nice and frosty. Be sure to close the fridge and freezer doors as leaving them open for just a few extra seconds wastes a lot of energy.
You can save even more money by getting your internal heating under control. Get an electronic thermostat so your furnace heats your home to a lower temperature while the family sleeps and returns it to a toastier temperature before you get out of bed. In the winter, set your thermostat at 68 Fahrenheit in the day and 55 Fahrenheit at night. In the summer, keep it at 78 Fahrenheit. Water heaters work most efficiently between 120 and 140 Fahrenheit.
Grow plants indoors
Growing a little herb garden in your kitchen will do more than just liven up your cooking. Live plants around your home act as natural air filters, and some plants are particularly effective absorbers of harmful pollutants emitted from carpets, furniture, and electronic equipment. Having plants will save you from spending money on cleansing sprays. The most effective air purifying house plants include aloe vera, bamboo palm, and spider plant. The best thing about these plants is that they are impossible to kill, so even the most forgetful gardeners will benefit from their air purification for a long time.
Water is a precious, life-giving resource, yet up to a third of the drinking water that comes into the typical Western home goes straight down the toilet. Conserving water will save you money on your bills. Save baths for special occasions, don’t use a dishwasher until it’s full, and save flushing for when you really need it.