Simply put, living green means making conscious choices that are healthy for you, others, and the environment. This can be complicated and may feel overwhelming, but one can start small and move forward!
Where do we start in the home? Here are some simple steps one can take to living a greener life while at the same time saving money:
1) Water heaters – Lowering your water heater to 120° will save you money in the long run, and helps reduce carbon emissions. Better yet, installing a tank less hot water heater is the way to go. You never run out of hot water, and it only heats the water when you need it. There are tax incentives for doing this as well. Rinnai is one company that offers this product.
2) Adjusting your thermostat – Moving your thermostat a degree or two can have a big impact! One can save 5% for every degree you lower your thermostat below 70° in the winter, and 2% for every degree shaved off above 72° in the summer. Use fans and bundle up!!
3) Checking your air filters – Most HV/AC companies check residential units twice a year, in the summer and fall when temperatures begin to change. While this is better than nothing, you can increase your efficiency by checking them once a month. Checking to make sure they are clean can save you 5-15% on your bill!
4) Cutting down air leaks in your home – Studies show that air leaks can increase your heating and cooling cost by 10%. The best remedy is to caulk and seal these areas which will decrease your carbon footprint.
5) Lights – Regular light bulbs only convert about 5-10% of its energy into light! The rest is wasted as heat. Using compact florescent bulbs (CFL’s…the swirly light bulbs) that conserve energy and last longer helps. It is also recommended that you try to maximize any natural light that you can. Energy Star offers more information on this product.
So now you can make a list and head to your local hardware store to get the ball rolling! These 5 simple steps should make you feel better about your contribution to living a greener life. And… you will save money! Who doesn’t want to save money? For more information on living green, go to The Daily Green.