Save Money and Practice Green Living

Making your home ‘green’ not only helps to save the planet; it can also mean money savings for you and your family both now and in the future. What’s more, it can also make your home more attractive to potential buyers down the road, thereby upping its value when it comes time to sell. Reducing your energy bills alone goes a long way toward green living success, and this guide can help you to do so efficiently and effectively.

You can certainly add higher-priced green elements to the mix down the road, such as solar roof panels or a large living wall, but it’s more cost effective to do the easy things first. PaydayLoansCashAdvance has these six steps you can take right now to start living green and reaping the money savings that green living has to offer:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It may sound like a “green cliché,” but these three “R’s” are the first steps to green living and money savings along the way. Why buy a brand new coffee table or dresser when you can get a like-new one online or from local sources for less than half the price? Seek out lightly used and refurbished items whenever possible. Thrift stores, consignment stores and resale shops are great places to find used items at great prices. Look at reselling websites for deals on used and refurbished electronics. You’ll save money and get more for your dollar.

Sunny Weather Savings

Another easy way to green your home is by working with existing weather patterns. For example, in summer, make sure your shades and windows are open during the coolest times of the day to let the cooler air in and the warm air out. Close the windows and shades well before the hottest hours of the day so that you can keep in the cool air. Conversely, in the winter, trap the warmth inside by opening your shades that face the sun and close them back up when the sun moves from view.

Green Lighting and Energy Usage

You turn your lights on and off numerous times throughout the day. Another easy and effective green home improvement step is to swap out your existing high usage light bulbs with a more energy-saving variety. The U.S. government Energy Star program says that using energy-saving light bulbs in the home can save homeowners substantially in electricity and energy costs over time. Energy efficient light bulbs are relatively inexpensive, too, especially when compared to the costs and materials that are often associated with some other green improvement steps.

Another green electric tip is to unplug electronics when not in use, such as your cell phone charging cord, stereo, TV, toaster, coffeepot, etc. While this will not save massive amounts of energy, it can make a small difference in your energy bill — and any little bit helps to reduce your carbon footprint.

Heating and Air Conditioning

By far, the majority of the energy that is used in a home is connected with your heating and cooling systems. Just regularly changing the air filter in your furnace can help it to run more smoothly, efficiently and effectively, thereby using less energy to heat your home. The U.S. Energy Star program recommends changing your furnace filter once every three months, check your furnace’s operating manual for specifics about your particular make and model.

Sealing your heating ducts, insulating your furnace and having a yearly HVAC checkup can also help to conserve energy and save money. Another great tip is to install a programmable thermostat. This can reduce your energy costs by allowing you to set your heat on a timer to automatically turn down at certain times of the day, such as while you’re away at work or at night while you’re sleeping. These thermostats are fairly inexpensive ($100 or less) and are relatively easy to install. If you’re handy, you can do it yourself, or have a knowledgeable friend or relative do it for you.

Compost and Carpool

Composting and carpooling are just two examples of little adjustments you can make in your daily routine that can add up to a big difference in your quest to save money while living more “green.” Steps such as these are relatively easy to undertake, and they integrate seamlessly with the normal routine of your day. It doesn’t have to be a big hassle to go green — it just takes a little consideration and planning. Composting your organic waste is as easy as creating a compost bin in a corner of your yard. Instead of throwing out those coffee grounds, veggie stems and yard waste, add it to the bin. An added side benefit is that you’re creating excellent — and free — fertilizer to use in future gardens. Carpooling is another great way to reduce your carbon footprint. You’ll save money on gasoline and travel costs, and it’s as easy as making a few phone calls to make it happen. Find little ways to go green each day — they will add up!

Energy Star and More

Once you’re on top of some of the easier day-to-day ways to green your home, it’s time to address some of the larger ticket items. Your old appliances could be wasting significant amounts of energy in your home. Replacing them is definitely more costly than changing some light bulbs, but when it comes time to replace appliances, look for the Energy Star sticker. This means that they are known for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and are recommended by the U.S. government. Many Energy Star appliances also come with tax credits; check the Energy Star website for more details on tax credit information.

Installing energy efficient windows and doors can also reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy bill by 7 to 15%. Installed correctly, they will reduce drafts and keep heat inside in winter and outside in summer.

Living green is not just an eco-friendly thing to do; it can also result in big money savings both now and in the future. Follow these six tips, and you’ll be well on your way to saving money while living green!

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