Over the past few years, many residential energy consumers from all over the globe have been considering taking a more eco-friendly approach to their home electricity consumption. Taking a truly green approach to energy consumption means taking the time to shop for a plan that uses renewable resources and by making changes to your everyday lifestyle in an effort to incorporate more eco-friendly practices.
Taking this approach to your home energy consumption will help you not only lower your monthly energy bills, but help you lower your home?s negative environmental impact. Making the switch to a more green lifestyle can be challenging. If you live in a deregulated state, the first step of course is to shop for a renewable resource energy plan. From there, there are several tips to consider that will help you get on your way to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
These simple, everyday lifestyle change are the perfect way to get started on your new more eco-friendly approach to green living.
1. Consider low-e window film. If you cover your windows with this film, it will let light in yet, reflects most o the sun?s heat. More than 90 percent of the sun?s heat will stay out of your home, meaning you can enjoy the light of the sun without enduring the negative effects of the sun over heating your home. This film is affordable, easy to install and more than pays for itself within weeks.
2. Add a new faucet aerator. Replacing the faucet aerator is a simple and affordable fix, yet it truly can go a long way. Consider an aerator that reduces water flow to less than 1 gpm. Not only are you saving water, which is great for the environment, but you are saving energy on hot water which can drastically impact your monthly energy bill.
3. Plant a tree. Planting trees and shrubs alongside your home can provide natural shade for your property. Place these new green additions along the southern and western sides of your home and they will help you save on energy all year long. In the summer, their shade will help keep the home cool, even with the sun?s rays. In the winter, without leaves these trees will let the sunlight come in and heat the home, while providing a protective wind barrier around your property.
4. Take five extra minutes before you go to bed. Take a few extra moments before bed to go around and unplug everything plugged into your sockets that you don?t need overnight. This is a great way to eliminate the amount of unnecessary energy you may be using. It?s a simple practice that won?t take you long but will really add up over time.
5. Check your thermostat when you sleep. Most people are sleeping with the temperatures that are too hot in the winter and too cold in the winter. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and up a few in the summer, chances are you won?t notice when you?re sleeping. If you?re worried about being comfortable, then consider a few extra blankets in the winter and sleeping with frozen rice under your pillowcase in the summer. These little fixes don?t use any energy and can help keep you comfortable.
6. Invest in a solar charger. Most people have all types of battery powered electronics at their fingertips. Unfortunately, electronics such as laptops, tablets and cell phones use the most electricity from our outlets. Consider a solar powered charger, it will work just as effectively as an outlet to charge your items, using one of the most natural resources available: the sun.
7. Consider an audit to keep your insulation in check. It is estimated that well over 120 million homes in America are not properly insulated. Homes that are experiencing air leaks are wasting a great deal of energy; approximately 25-30% of an average energy bill to be exact. You can hire a professional auditor to come through and see where your home needs more insulation or protection and help you see where you are wasting energy. Simple additions such as caulk or weather stripping are eco-friendly ways to keep your home running more efficiently.
8. Replace your old furnace. Furnaces and furnace fans consumer energy more than virtually any other appliance in the home. It may seem like a big investment to replace one of these items, but this change can go a long way. If your furnace was built before 1992 or has a standing pilot, chances are if probably wastes around 35 percent o the fuel it uses. A shocking number of Americans have these furnace in their home. Even newer models aren?t designed to be efficient. Always look for an option that has an ACEEE rated annual efficiency of at least 90 percent.
9. Replace your light bulbs. While this seems like a simple switch, and one that many homeowners have heart of, most Americans still use 100-watt incandescent bulbs. They are easier to find and cheaper options, which causes so many homeowners to use these solutions. The best option for energy efficiency is actually a bulb known as a CFL. These bulbs can save up to 75 percent of the energy used by incandescents. They require more of an upfront payment but they will pay for themselves and then some.
10. Look into tax incentives. Did you know that there are state and federal tax incentives available for energy efficient homeowners? Incentives can cover the cost of home improvements, including building-envelope improvements and upgrades to your heating and air conditioning units. There are also significant tax benefits to those who install on-site renewable energy equipment. Take some time to consider these tax incentives and follow their lead on improvements you can make. They not only go a long way in improving your home?s efficiency but they may just give you the boost you need to get started with a more eco-friendly home.
These tips are only the beginning. From here, you can start making even more dramatic changes to start operating in a truly eco-friendly manner in your home. For most of us, there are always new changes we can be making to help us be more green, but these simple tips are the perfect first step towards changing your home?s energy consumption.