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6 Tips for Going Green at Home

My husband and I have always been conscientious of the environment.  Now that we have moved into our new home, it's a perfect opportunity to “go green.”  Along the way, we have discovered some quick and easy ways to make a difference in the environment as well as to our bottom line.  I hope you can also use these six simple tips to “go green” and save some green!

Tip 1:  Use Energy Star Appliances.  When my husband and I moved into our new house, we knew we would need a new hot water heater.  We decided to go with a model that was Energy Star rated.  Energy Star appliances are the most energy efficient models, exceeding federal government standards.  Some states offer rebates or special tax incentives for purchasing energy efficient models.  You can go to www.energystar.com for more information on these programs.  One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes the more efficient models may cost slightly more.  But the savings on utilities will more than offset that expense over time. 

Tip 2:  Use a Rain Barrel.  Our new house has a beautiful garden and a much larger yard to water than our old house.  One way to save on the cost of watering your garden and lawn is to purchase a rain barrel.  Rain barrels are rather inexpensive (most are less than $100), and are used to capture and store rain water.  Now, rather than turning on the hose to water the lawn and garden, we use the water directly from the rain barrel.  We noticed an instant drop in our water bill by almost 10 percent! 

Tip 3:  Unplug Appliances.  I never realized how much energy some appliances use, even when not turned on.  Save money and energy use by unplugging appliances such as a printer, phone/tablet charger, microwave and coffee maker when not in use.  You will start notice your energy bill decrease.

Tip 4:  Fix the Drips.  When we moved into our new home, we noticed that the pipes underneath our kitchen sink had a small drip.  This small drip wasted about 5 gallons of water each day, so we knew we needed to get this fixed.  Fixing leaks in your faucets and sinks will save you money on your water bill, as well as help you to avoid major repairs due to water damage.

Tip 5:  Replace Filters.  Make sure to regularly replace your furnace and central air filters as specified for your make and model.  Dirty filters cause your furnace to use much more energy to promote proper air flow.  Replacing your filters as specified can help you lower energy use, as well as lower your heating bills.

Tip 6:  Be Mindful of the Temperature.  Each winter and summer, you can save energy and money by monitoring the thermostat temperature.  In the winter, for each degree that you turn your thermostat down for an 8-hour period, you will save approximately one percent on your heating bill.  In the summer, you can also see savings by keeping your house a little bit warmer.  A programmable thermostat is a great way to set temperatures and decrease energy use at night and during periods when nobody is home.

I hope these six easy and low-cost tips will help you go green and save money this year!

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