Follow these easy steps that help the environment, and your wallet!
I love this time of the year because it reminds us to be thankful for what we have, who we share it with, and the opportunities that are open for us. In the spirit of giving, I’d like to share the following easy steps that anyone can take at home that will instantly save energy, therefore save you money, not to mention it’s good for the environment. Soon, new homes for sale will have to disclose an energy rating given by a licensed energy auditor showing how much energy the home consumes. This will let buyer’s know how much the home costs, on average, to run. The lower the cost, the more attractive it will obviously be for a buyer. Say for example, 2 homes, both on sale for $500,000. The difference? The first home uses an average of $500 / month in energy. The second home uses only $250. This will very quickly play a larger role in our home buying and selling process.
10 STEPS TO GO GREEN AND SAVE GREEN
1. In the winter, lower your thermostats 3-5% degrees more than usual and dress appropriately. Lowering the temperature just a few degrees can save you 25% on your heating costs!
2. Run your dishwasher and washing machines only when completely full. Fewer loads mean less energy and water. Use the air dry feature instead of the heat dry.
3. Wash your clothes in cold water!! 90% of the energy in a washing machine goes to heating the water.
4. Unplug appliances when you’re not using them, like toaster ovens, blenders, electric water kettles, hair dryers, TVs, computers and DVD players. Yes, they continue to use energy even when they are off. Use Smart Power Strips that sense when the appliances are off.
5. Buy an energy meter. They are only $20 and you can buy one at Costco. You place the meter between your appliance and your outlet and it shows you exactly how much energy and money it costs you in real time to have it on, and even off. Being more aware is one of the best ways you can save energy!
6. Replace your standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, known as CFLs. CFLs are extremely affordable now, there’s no excuse not to use them. They save you up to 75% on your lighting costs and the bulbs last much longer! If every Californian replaced just five standard bulbs with CFLs, it would be like taking 275,000 cars off the road!!
7. Use a water filter to purify your tap water instead of buying bottled water. Instead of expensive and environmentally toxic plastic water bottles, buy yourself a durable, reusable water bottle to take to work or the gym. Did you know American’s use up 10,000,000,000 water bottles each year! You read that correctly, 10 Billion water bottles a year.
8. Close air vents in rooms you don’t use. This will allow the hot or cold air you are pumping to reach you faster and more directly without dispersing (like a leak) into other rooms you don’t need to heat or cool. You’ll use the heating/cooling systems far less time this way, saving you money instantly.
9. Replace your air filters! Most people forget to ever check them. A new air filter costs $5 at Home Depot! Air filters are meant to be changed out. They accumulate dust and eventually block the airflow substantially, making your systems work much harder to get the air to reach your room.
10. Think before you print and pay as many of your bills online as you can! This will save you money in checkbooks, envelopes and stamps, not to mention things get lost in the mail all the time, so you eliminate late penalties too! Notify as many mailer companies that you don’t want to receive their spam anymore. For all of you new home buyers out there, you’re probably still receiving a lot of mail from the previous tenants or homeowners. Make sure you notify the post office ASAP of this and try to notify the old occupants.
Lastly, you can share this article with your friends and co-workers. They’ll thank you for saving them money. And let’s face it, it feels good too! Learn more and find government incentives to go green at www.flexyourpower.org.
Until next time, remember, at HomeReach.com, Sharing Is Caring.