What should be done on an international scale to fight global warming and climate change is a heavily debated topic, but there’s one thing for certain. Each one of us can take small steps to reduce our own carbon footprint.Aside from eco-friendly choices benefiting future generations, it also has an impact on your bottom line. Appliances, home utility systems and personal habits that are less harsh on the environment can save you money long term as well.
Since Earth Day is this week on April 22, we have a few tips that can help make your home more eco-friendly.
Energy Star is an environmental agency that sets the standard for energy efficient appliances and products in the U.S. According to EnergyStar.gov, Energy Star qualified appliances use 10 to 50 percent less energy than standard appliances and emit less greenhouse gas into the air after each use.
Greenhouse gases naturally occur to keep the Earth warm, but excess greenhouse gas created through daily activities like running your washer and dryer can contribute to the global warming phenomena.
Buying new Energy Star qualified appliances may be an investment upfront, but it’s one that can pay off. Using less energy can lower your utility bills. And Energy Star appliances are often made with higher quality parts that last longer and have fewer mechanical issues than other appliances. Win-win.
Just like appliances, Energy Star certified heating and cooling systems can cut energy costs and decrease the amount of greenhouse gases created by your home. If your unit is over 10 years old, Energy Star suggests having a specialist check how efficiently it’s working.
You may be able to improve the energy efficiency of your current system in small ways like changing your air filters regularly or installing a thermostat timer to schedule when air turns on and off while you’re sleeping or away. However, if the system is obsolete, it may be time to invest in a new one.
Water is a limited resource. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, just 2.5% of water on Earth is freshwater we can survive on.
Fix your leaks to conserve more water and cut your water costs each month. Leaky pipes are water (and your cash) going right down the drain. Make a habit of turning off water when you brush your teeth or wash your hands. And limit time spent running the shower.
When air can escape your home, the heating and cooling system has to do more work to keep you comfortable. Checking insulation is particularly important if you buy an older home. Older homes tend to have less insulation than modern ones.
Look at the condition of your insulation in the attic, walls, basement and floors. Check insulation on the hot and cold air ducts throughout your home as well. If you’re unsure what to look out for, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional inspector.
Remember, every change you make to your home and daily routine is significant. All of our efforts compounded will make a difference.
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