42-17590253Going green doesn’t have to cost a lot of green. We’ve done some research and found plenty of ways that you can go green around the house and not spend a lot. In fact, going green will often save you money, primarily in energy costs.

Lower your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Even a 10 degree reduction can save you 5 percent in energy costs and there’s no reason to have your hot water any higher.

Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact florescents2777441779_56d64f504a1According to the US Department of Energy:

“If every American home replaced one light bulb with an Energy Star qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than three million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.”

Seal the gaps. Doors and windows give away their air leaks and drafts because you can feel them. Two simple steps can help seal the leaks, lower your energy bills and keep you more comfortable. The first is weather stripping.

From ACME How-to:

Weather stripping should be installed along the sides and top of the door and a door sweep or similar device should be installed on the bottom of the door. Old weather stripping should be periodically replaced.

An all-purpose sealant will close the leaks around the outside of the doors and windows (the jambs, sills and moldings, particularly). This method works well for sealing around door and window frames, around plumbing fixtures and for small gaps. Using a low VOC adhesive like EcoGlue Extreme gives you instant grab and its completely water-based. It bonds to most any substrate instantly and can be painted after 24 hours.

Make sure your attic, basement and crawl spaces are well-insulated. These areas are notorious for letting heat and cooling escape.

Plant more trees on your property. Evergreen trees on the north and west sides of the house protect against winter winds and leafy trees on the south and west shade from the summer sun.

For more info:

Tips to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency (Easy tips that anyone can do)

Green Home Tips (particularly helpful for historic homes, but lots of relevant tips)

Five Ways to Build Affordable, Energy Star Rated Houses (from BUILDER Magazine)

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