Ready to go green and reduce your carbon footprint? Maybe, you may have already made the switch from a gas-guzzling SUV to a Prius, but there’s so much you can do in your very own home to make it more energy-efficient. Read on for some of the best practical home improvement upgrades to help you reconfigure the way you use the planet’s resources.
The Fastest, Simplest Energy Savers
• Change to energy-efficient light bulbs. Replace all your incandescent bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) lamps or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLS) – both of which provide the same illumination while using 75 percent less energy.
• Unplug devices when you are not using them. Devices such as computers, lamps, and microwave ovens still consume energy (referred to as phantom or ghost energy) even when you have turned them off. Develop the habit of unplugging these gizmos when they are not in use.
Do an Energy Audit
The clearest path to green updates is an energy audit — this will figure out where energy is being wasted, and it will identify which appliances and systems are not functioning efficiently. You will find out if your heating and cooling systems are using more fuel than they should, and you will see what corrective measures can be put in place immediately and in the long-term.
To get an energy audit done you can hire a professional energy auditor, or you can do your own audit with the help of practical checklists. One website you can refer to is the Energy Star website which has several resources for homeowners who want to go green.
Water Saving Contraptions
• Install efficient low-flow water heads on your showers and aerators on your water faucets. These new contraptions will direct water flow better and prevent you from wasting water. You can also begin to use modern toilets with water tanks that use 55% less water per flushing than old models.
• Install a “gray” water recycling system which will gather water from the rain, from your downspouts, your kitchen sink, and non-sewage faucets. This device will divert water so that it doesn’t go into the sewer; the water will then go through a filtering system so that you can use it as gray water. You can use it to water your garden, clean your pavement and perform other chores without using water that can be used for cooking.
Consider Installing a Cool Roof
Your roof can help you save energy if it is able to protect you against the winter chill and the summer heat. Environment friendly roofs should have high solar reflectance; this will reduce the temperature of your roof’s surface by more than 25 percent and you won’t need as much energy to keep your house cool.
To make sure your house remains as warm as it needs to be during the winter months, your reflective roof should be backed up by adequate insulation. This will mean using less energy to keep your home heated.
Sometimes families are reluctant to install green upgrades because of the cost. However, the money spent on these changes will mean savings in the long run. Furthermore, with these household innovations you will be doing your bit for the environment and in the years to come it will pay off in a big way by ensuring and saving our planet for all future generations.
Source: Tim Smith writes for Modernize.
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