Each new year, many people aspire to make changes in their lives, from becoming more active to reducing their impact on the environment. One of the easiest ways to go green is to start at home and work those habits into your daily life. It’s not easy to just start riding your bike to work every day to stop polluting, but it’s not hard to significantly reduce your home’s effect on the environment. If you made a New Year’s Resolution to live a greener life, here are a few ways to start at home. And if your goal is to save more money this year, then going green can be just the thing you need.
Start With the Lights
As far as money and energy goes, traditional incandescent light bulbs are incredibly wasteful. With older light bulbs, more than 90 percent of the energy used is given off as heat, rather than light. Many people disliked the original compact fluorescent bulbs that came out a few years ago, but new bulbs have begun to outshine traditional bulbs in a number of ways. CFLs and LED bulbs use between 75 and 90 percent less electricity than regular bulbs, which cuts your home’s energy impact and your utility bill. New bulbs also allow you to live smarter, with LED bulbs that can be controlled from your smartphone, allowing you to always return to a bright house.
One thing that many homeowners do not realize is how much energy their appliances use when they’re not even turned on. The Department of Energy estimates that about 20 percent of electricity goes to a “phantom load,” or electricity used by devices and appliances just for being plugged in. Smart outlets and power strips can help you slash your energy use and once again save money after an initial investment. Many come with motion detectors or can be controlled from your phone to ensure that your appliances only draw power when you need them to.
Home Energy Audit
If you are unsure of where to start going green at home, an energy audit can give you a roadmap for going green. Most audits reveal small maintenance tasks like caulking windows or sealing pipes that can save an average of $600 each year, while reducing energy waste and stopping pollutants from entering your home. The audit may also give recommendations for larger actions like replacing old appliances with Energy Star approved devices.
Switch to a Third-Party Utility Provider
Once you understand how your home is using energy, it will be easier to actually change the way you use it in your home. Sometimes, it is best to start at the source – your utility company. If you are working to save money and reduce your energy consumption, switching to a third-party utility provider like Systrum Energy can help you achieve both goals. Third-party companies work with your existing electricity supplier to build a discount for your electricity and natural gas needs, often saving up to 20 percent on your monthly utility bills.
Green Pest Control
Some of the energy saving tips revealed in your home energy audit can help you be green in other ways as well. The maintenance that helps you keep energy in your home will also help keep pests and rodents out. Contacting your local pest control company for more environmentally friendly pest control can help you accomplish the home maintenance tasks you need and repel unwanted guests from invading your home.