10 Environmentally Friendly Things You Can Do inside Your House Today to Save Money

Turn your house upside down - funny pictureThere are several environmentally friendly things that you have the capability of doing inside of your house today to save money.

It is quite likely that you have the ability to drastically reduce the energy demand of your home.

As a result, your home will consume less electricity (coal) and gas (fracking).

When you do so, you are helping to reduce the emissions from materials used to power your home.  Yes, you do make a difference.  Sealing up window frames or turning off lights when they are not in use leads to cleaner air and less environmental complications.

In this article, we’ll share a few easy and practical solutions for things you can do inside your house that will help you save money while helping the environment.

Step 1: Become Aware and Understand the Challenge
Whether you think global warming is real or a hoax, most people today understand that as a species, the 7 billion of us on the planet are fundamentally changing the structure of our little spaceship here in the Milky Way.

This is especially true in the United States which, per capita, consumes more energy than any other country on earth.  And right now, the average family spends approximately $2,000.00 annually on utility costs.  This may increase as costs for delivery and mining continue to rise.  What is a shame is that much of the energy that is paid for each year is actually wasted, which makes the large amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere even more problematic.

(By way of interest, one average home can easily put more carbon dioxide into the air over a year than the amount that two automobiles put into the air.)

So the recommendation is to seriously look at your home and create a home energy plan.  By going through this process, you can save approximately 30% on your electricity heating/cooling needs.  You will also make a positive contribution well-being of the environment.

Looking at what’s going on in your home specifically, and taking simple steps to address the issues you find, you will have taken the first step towards saving money.

Step 1: Become aware.

Step 2: Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit lets you evaluate your home as a whole.  Through this, you can properly identify which parts of your home are contributing to high energy usage.

You may conduct this audit on your own, but your local utility company likely will send someone to help you (sometimes for free), or you can hire a professional who specializes in energy audits. As part of the audit, make sure you identify:

  • Insulation levels
  • Cracks that may be present around plumbing fixtures, walls and ceilings
  • Identify how much electricity is used by products in the home

Step 2: Home Energy Audit

So now we move onto the individual things that can be improved through the results of the home energy audit.

Step 3: Insulation
Reducing the amount of energy that you use in your home can be helped through better or more thorough insulation.   Insulation designed to form an effective barrier will keep heat and cold at appropriate levels, while protecting the inside of the home from being exposed to potentially damaging moisture levels.

Step 4: Heating and Cooling
Estimates show that in some cases half of all utility costs are related to heating and cooling. Make sure you consider the climate control system located in your home.  Heating and cooling of buildings contributes approximately one hundred fifty million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.  But changing your thermostat 1-2 degrees cooler in the winter and 1-2 degrees warmer in the summer can help you save money and help the environment.  Additionally, most heating and cooling systems have filters.  By replacing filters, as well as having ducts, furnaces, and blower units serviced regularly, you can save quite a bit of money and help the environment.

Step 5: Windows
Windows look nice while being functional. However, having the wrong windows (especially if they are old or leaky), can cost you a lot of money.  Depending on where you live, consider using double or even triple pane windows, making sure the seals around the windows are solid, and put curtains in front of any windows where you want to keep the heat out in the summer.  Your air conditioner and your electric bill will thank you in the summer, and in the winter, keeping the curtains open will let the sun’s natural energy warm your home.

Step 6: Water Heater
On average, 13-15% of utility costs are related to heating water. If your water heater is old, consider purchasing a new, tankless, one  Newer water heaters are much more energy efficient.  If a new water heater is off the table for financial reasons, then insulating the water storage (by wrapping a thermal blanket around it) can also save you money and prevent waste.  Alternatives may be to use less water by washing clothes in cold water, and also turning down the temperature of the water heater.

Step 7:  Lighting
Because lights and the power they consume can be expensive, you should investigate alternatives.  There is always the option of simply turning off the lights when you’re not in a room, but there are also many other options.

Consider:

  • Installing switches in your closets.  (When the closet door is open, the light is on.  When closed, the light is off.)
  • Installing motion detectors in bathrooms. (If there’s movement, the light is on for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc.  If not, the light is off.)
  • Install timers.  If you know you come home or go to bed at a certain time, use a timer to turn off the lights at that time.

LED lighting is coming.  If you are building a new home, look into using LEDs to light your whole house.  Of course, you can (for now) switch your bulbs to CFLs, if LED lighting is out of your price range at the moment.

Step 8: Appliances
Saving money on appliances is simple.  Have and use only appliances that can use renewable energy.  This means your appliances should all be powered by electricity.  And choose appliances that are energy efficient.  You can check your appliances here if you’re in Australia or here if you’re in the USA.  Also, by maintaining the appliances that you have and using them properly (pull the lint from the dryer every time, clean the oven frequently, keep open space in your fridge so air can flow, etc.) you can make sure they don’t need extra power to run.   Also, uplug electrical appliances when they are not in use, or use a power strip that automatically prevents phantom power from robbing your house of electricity.

Step 9: Home Office
If you have a home office:

  • Purchase computers and peripherals that consume less electricity
  • Turn off and unplug the electronic devices when they are not in use.
  • Set devices to sleep mode or lower power consumption when they are not in use.

Step 10: Commit to New Habits and/or Continue Money-Saving and Environment-Friendly Habits
By monitoring and evaluating your personal habits you can save money.  Do you turn off lights when they’re not in use?  Do you turn off fans when they are not in use?  Do you wait to run the dish washer until it’s full or wait to do laundry until you have a full load?  Do you have (and use) a clothesline?  Do you turn the water off while you brush your teeth?  Maintaining good habits helps you save money and the environment.

So there you have it:

10 Steps or actions you can take in your house to save money while promoting a more environment-friendly future.

Step 1: Become aware.

Step 2: Home Energy Audit

Step 3: Insulation

Step 4: Heating and Cooling

Step 5: Windows

Step 6: Water Heater

Step 7: Lighting

Step 8: Appliances

Step 9: Home Office

Step 10: Habits

These are simple steps.  But the 10th one is what will help with the rest.  Changing habits and changing the way you look at things will allow you to keep more money in your pocket while helping the environment.

H.M is writing for Alternative Energy Geek, a site that will teach you more about green energy and also how different types of alternative energy sources work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.