By Andrew Hill @ www.NewHomeSource.com.
Contrary to some mistaken ideas, going green doesn’t have to be strange and uncomfortable, and it definitely doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, many green ideas are designed to increase your comfort and to save you money. Don’t believe us? Well then consider these fun, cost-effective ways to make your home a little greener.
One of the simplest and most cost effective ways of going green is to lower your water consumption. Left unchecked, faucets and sprinkler systems can waste a lot of water. So why not try installing low-flow faucet heads and aerators? All it takes is a couple of dollars at the hardware store and a quick installation and you’ll soon see a change in your water bills.
Another way to save some green while going green is to design your yard according to your natural resources and conditions. For example, if you live in a sunshine region, consider exploiting the massive amounts of solar energy you absorb daily. Incorporating solar cells into your home helps produce more electricity, which can then be used for a variety of purposes, like heating the pool instead of using propane. For those with a green thumb, you can also use your natural surrounding by planting flowers, bushes, and trees that are native to your area. Native plants require less water, fertilizer, etc. than plants that are more suited for other regions.
Maintaining your ventilation and insulation is important as well. This alone can significantly reduce your energy consumption, and increase your comfort. To lower your monthly bills, try sticking to these general rules:
- Clean your air filters regularly- typically once a month.
- Plug your air leaks with caulk and weather stripping.
- This will help eliminate drafts and better control your home temperature.
- Places to check: doors & windows.
- Have your HVAC system routinely checked to be sure it is working correctly.
- Insulate your hot water pipes and hot water heater.
*If you’re looking at real estate options, homes with certain green retrofits can significantly improve their value*
As you can see, going green doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or outlandish. In fact, by thinking smart and putting in just a bit more effort, you can be living more comfortably and saving more every day.