Turning an existing home into a bastion of energy savings and eco-friendly construction is actually pretty easy, and it can be done without a lot of up-front expenditures and big price tags. For those homeowners who value lower utility costs and a better relationship with the natural world, here’s a look at the easiest ways to go green and save some money in the process.
1. Low-Wattage Light Bulbs
The incandescent bulb has enjoyed a long and storied life, but it’s time for it to be retired. Today’s home improvement stores are full of alternatives, including halogen bulbs, compact fluorescents, and even LED bulbs. Of these, LED bulbs are both the most eco-friendly and the most expensive, though they also last as long as ten years in everyday applications. By making the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs or LED options, consumers can cut their electric bill by as much as half.
2. Solar Panel Installation
Solar panels are cheaper than ever before and they’re really easy to install. While most homeowners won’t want to buy enough panels to light the whole home, it’s worth noting that even a few solar panels can power a water heater, an office, or an entertainment room, on a 24-hour basis. That can seriously reduce energy use and contribute to a greener home.
3. In-Home Water Recycling
At-home water recycling systems purify and reuse water for various applications, like flushing the toilet or watering the garden. This dramatically reduces overall home water consumption, which can help blunt increasing water prices and reduce the impact of a home on local creeks and streams.
Just the Beginning: Lots of Ways to Get Started
From wind to solar, conservation to recycling, the number of ways to go green and embrace eco-friendly living are numerous. Be sure to consider all of the small ways that even an existing home can bring down energy bills and lower overall usage.