Some people believe that going green is a complicated process. However, the truth is there are simple home improvement projects that almost anyone can do to make your home “greener” without spending much time or money. In fact, these projects will save you money while making your home more energy efficient and helping you conserve natural resources.
Month after month those dreaded utility bills keep arriving, after following these simple tips, you will see the amount due drop.
Install Automatic Light Switches
Have you ever walked through your house and noticed every light is on? Especially if you have young children, automatic light switches are a great solution. This DIY (Do-It-Yourself) task is one that often offers instant gratification—you can see the results as soon as the next electric bill comes in the mail.
Appliances and equipment that are “always on” gobble up energy. Most people may not know that when the appliance is “off” or “asleep” it will continue to use electricity—such as a computer or television. The best solution is to purchase a power strip, plug all these devices into it, at the end of the day, flip the switch and it cuts the power to the appliances and saving you money.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
It does not get much easier than replacing older light bulbs with New Generation Energy Efficient Light Bulbs. Even though the initial investment will be a little more, they last longer, use less energy, and generate less heat—saving money in the long run.
Insulate Your Home
Does your air-conditioning unit or heat seem to run constantly? Nothing waste energy like drafty windows and doors. One of the most energy saving, cost-efficient improvements you can make is to re-insulate your home—including pet doors, doors leading into an attached garage. Even though, the upfront investment may be larger, the return will be savings showing up soon on energy bills.
Install a Cool Roof
If you live in a hotter climate, a cool roof may be well worth the investment. A cool roof absorbs less heat and reflect more sunlight than a regular roof. Typically they are made from highly reflective type of paint, tiles or shingles or a sheet covering. On a hot summer day, a standard roof’s temperature can reach 150F. But a cool roof, under the same conditions, may reach only 100F—that’s 50F cooler. The energy savings add up quickly.
Insulate Your Water Heater
A quick and easy tip to save energy and money is to add an insulated jacket to your traditional hot water heater.
Check the Thermostat on Your Water Heater
Consider lowering your hot water heater’s temperature to 120F. The water will still be sufficiently hot enough and the savings will be huge.
Keep Your Thermostat Adjusted Accordingly
Did you know that if you adjust your thermostat by just 2 degrees (for example, 72F to 70F) can greatly increase the amount of energy your home consumes—no matter if it is heat or air conditioning. In cooler weather, when you get chilly— add a jacket, instead of heating the whole house. Warmer weather try to use ceiling fans and fans, especially on upper floors because of hot air rising.
There are just simple tips that you can implement today that will save you lots of money over time.
Michael Tobias is the founder and principal of Chicago Engineers. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech class of 2004, with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with honors. His innovative approach to MEP engineering comes from graduating GE’s Engineering Leadership Program, where he designed wind turbines and biofuel power plant engines. Michael’s passion within design is energy efficiency and green technology.