Here are six simple steps for making your existing home “greener”:
1. These are the easiest things to do and it won’t cost you anything to do it. Just turn off lights when you are not using them. Lower your thermostat in the winter. Try to use natural ventilation as much as possible during the summer.
2. When your incandescent light bulbs blow, replace them with energy efficient compact florescent light bulbs (CFL). Eventually, all of your incandescent lights should be switched over to the CFL type.
3. Plant a deciduous tree on the south side of your home. This tree will provide shade for your home and lower your cooling bills during the summer. If you live up north, this tree will lose its leaves during the winter. This will allow more sunlight to pass through the tree and help heat your home during the winter.
4. Add additional insulation in your home. Cellulose insulation can be very cheap compared to other types of insulation. Cellulose insulation is very green and environmentally friendly too.
5. Replace your appliances with Energy Star appliances. This can be expensive, but always try to buy an Energy Star appliance whenever possible. When your appliance breaks down, this is the perfect time to buy an Energy Star appliance. Even though your upfront costs can be high, you will save money in the long run.
6. Replace your heating system with an energy efficient one. This is an expensive long term investment for your home, but it is well worth the money.
By doing these six simple steps, you will be helping the environment while lowering your energy bills. This will save you some real “green”.
Kevin E. Phillips, Jr., CSI, CDT