One of the best ways to save money on your monthly bills is to go green at home. Not only will you save money, but you will be creating an eco-friendly environment and making your own contribution to sustaining the planet. Many of the technologies and strategies you can employ are affordable and well worth it when compared to the savings that show up in your monthly bills.
Here are 7 tips to help you go green at home. Some require more of an investment and others are easy and cheap.
- Assess, plan and budget. The first step should be an energy audit. You can do this yourself or hire a professional. Locate leaks, dripping faucets, openings around your doors, windows and flooring where air may be escaping or entering your home. Check on the age of your appliances and the quality of their functioning, are they draining energy? How much money do you have to embark on this project? Do you need to borrow? If so, avoid using your credit cards. Turn instead to a personal loan from a marketplace lender, such as Peerform. You will have the cash you need quickly, the automatic payments will ensure that the loan is repaid on time and you will be able to enjoy your new eco-friendly home with peace of mind.
- Make your home passive. Transforming your home into a passive house, means that your house is completely sealed so that no hot or cold air enters or escapes. Once sealed, your heating and cooling needs are dramatically reduced. To make it completely passive, requires considerable renovations, which are costly, but there are other things you can do to get close to passive, such as installing double or triple pane windows, replacing door thresholds, or covering your window panes with a reflective coating. And for free, just remember to lock all of your windows whenever you close them, which creates a seal between the panes, keeping the cold or hot air from entering.
- Go Smart. Smart technology is taking over the world, or so it seems. Today you can find smart home apps that run on your digital device to turn on the lights for you when you are almost home, adjust the room temperature, even start your favorite CD. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but you will save money on your utility bills. Honeywell and Nest produce smart thermostats that allow you to adjust the room temperature from your smart phone or tablet. These smart devices have become so popular, you can even find them at Home Depot, meaning that you can easily go green on a modest budget.
- Harness the Sun. Depending upon where you live, you may be able to reap considerable rewards by installing solar panels to heat your home and water. Begin first by visiting Google Project Sunroof, where you will find out the amount of sunlight your home receives each year, the number of square feet you have available for solar panels, how much money you can save and a list of solar installers in your area.
- Change your lightbulbs. One of the easiest and affordable ways to save money on your electricity bill is to switch your incandescent bulbs to LED (Light Emitting Diode) or CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light). These bulbs use between 25% and 80% less energy. For a small upfront investment you will save money on your monthly bills.
- Shut down and disconnect. This strategy does not cost anything. When you are finished with your digital devices, don’t just put them to sleep, turn them off. They soak up quite a bit of power even when in sleep mode. Turn off all your appliances not in use and disconnect them from the power outlet. Even better, put all your appliances and electronics on a power strip, and turn off the strip before going to sleep and when leaving the house. Or, connect all your devices and appliances to your smartphone and let it do the work for you.
- Take advantage of government rebates and incentive programs. Global climate change and protection of natural resources is at the top of the agenda for governments around the world. This works great for you because it means that you can tap into incentive and rebate programs that will help cover the cost of your green projects around the house. Visit energy.gov to see what programs are available in your state.