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  • Writer's pictureJoel Guyer

8 Ways to Make Your Home More Green

If you're looking to make your home more environmentally friendly while saving money, you're in luck. We've compiled a list of eight ways to make your home greener and reduce its environmental impact. This is the perfect place for beginners who want to start living more sustainably or anyone looking to add green touches around their own homes.

1. Change Your Lightbulbs

This one may seem obvious, but replacing your old incandescent lightbulbs with more efficient fluorescent or LED bulbs can save a lot of money and energy. For example, one 60 watt incandescent bulb that burns for five hours per day will use about 840 watts per year, costing anywhere from $15-$45. By comparison, a 14-watt compact fluorescent bulb will only use about 26 watts per hour, and a LED bulb will use about 10-15 watts. Doing the math, you can save anywhere from $45-$130 each year by switching to more efficient bulbs.

2. Use Energy Efficient Appliances

If your current appliances aren't energy-efficient, it may be time for an upgrade. When shopping for new appliances, look for the Energy Star label or EnergyGuide label. Energy Star-rated appliances are about 15% more efficient than standard models. For example, modern Energy Star washers use about 45% less energy and 50% less water per load, while Energy Star refrigerators use about 20% less electricity.

3. Install a Low-Flow Toilet

Installing a low-flow toilet is one of the best ways to cut down on your water usage. Low flow toilets use about 1.28 gallons per flush, which can reduce your water usage by more than 50%. Low-flow showerheads and faucets are also available if you'd like to make additional savings in these areas.

4. Install Solar Shades

Your choice of window treatments will have a major impact on your energy usage, especially during the summer. Sunlight can heat a room by as much as 12-15 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's important to block it out while you're not using your rooms. Solar shades are a great option. They're very inexpensive and easy to install and can save you money in the long run.

5. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat lets you manage your home's heating and cooling system from anywhere at any time. You can set it for different temperatures during the day and night, which means less energy usage while you're gone or asleep. You can also set them to come on and off at different times, which reduces heating and cooling costs during peak hours.

6. Install a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are ideal for homes with more than 3-4 people because they don't need to keep a large tank of water warm at all times. However, if you're the only person in your home, these won't do much for you. They're more efficient than regular tank heaters, though, because they only use energy when needed rather than keeping a large tank of hot water constantly on standby.

7. Unplug Your Electronics

Phantom power is electricity that comes from your outlets even when appliances are turned off. That means devices like laptops, chargers, and televisions use electricity without any benefit to you. Unplug them when they're not in use or invest in smart power strips that can be controlled remotely with an app.

8. Use Green Cleaning Products

It may cost a few extra bucks, but using more eco-friendly cleaning products is worth it because they're effective, gentle on the environment, and less likely to trigger allergies or asthma. Look for phosphate-free cleaners that use plant-based ingredients rather than chemicals, are biodegradable, all-natural, non-toxic, have low VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and don't contain harmful ingredients like bleach or bleach ammonia.

The Bottom Line on Going Green

A little effort on your part can make a big difference in the environment and your wallet. Implementing green habits like the ones listed above takes some extra planning, but they're well worth it because you'll be doing something positive for yourself and your loved ones while also helping to save the planet we all share.

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