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Do It Yourself: Tips for a Green Home

Being green (energy and water efficient) is very important for the environment, as well as your income. Most people think it takes a lot of money and time to make your house more energy and water efficient, but this is far from the truth. Here is a collection of easy tips that will help you be energy efficient right now.

Install CFL Bulbs

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs work wonders in saving energy and money in your home. These bulbs are not significantly more expensive than regular bulbs, but can save up to 40 dollars per bulb over the bulbs life. They have the same watts available as your favorite household bulb but will save you lots of money with relatively low investment. These bulbs also use 75% less energy and 75% less heat than normal bulbs. Consider CFL’s bulbs next time your light needs a replacement.

Install Water Saving Shower Heads

In the typical household, the shower is the biggest water waster in the whole house. Most showerheads operate at over 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute), which can easily add up to over 10 gallons of water with just a 5 minute shower. You may think that low flow showerheads will decrease the quality of the shower, but with the increases in technology over the last decade, low flow showerheads have adapted to create an almost identical shower experience with over a gallon less water used per minute. Consider a low flow shower head today for an easy green improvement in less than 15 minutes.

Low Flow Toilets

Installing a low flow toilet is a great way to save thousands of gallons of water a year; however, there is a quick fix to help save water without installing a low flow showerhead as well. If you fill up a water bottle and submerge it in your toilet tank, the toilet will think it is using more water than it is, forcing the toilet to waste less water per flush. Plus if you decide it is not efficient enough you can always take it out. This is by no means a substitute for a good low flow toilet, as they are much more efficient then this quick fix, but if you are looking for a way to save water without spending money this is a good option.

Wrap Your Water Heater

By creating an insulated jacket for your water heater you can easily make improvements to the amount of gas used to keep the water warm. This saves more in colder climates, but is a small investment in supplies and can pay off in money saved and efficiency.

Plug Leaks

If you are aware of old windows or cracks in your house, they can be leaking the cold / hot air 24 hours a day causing you to use more energy to power heaters and air conditioning. Simply investing in a tube of caulk can be cheap and save tons of money in the long run. Look around your house for leaks and cracks today.

Invest in Better Windows

Older houses tend to have single pane windows that are insanely inefficient. These types of windows leak cold or hot air. Investing in a double pane windows can be expensive, but can save you lots of money and energy, not to mention provide tax refunds, all while helping your house be more efficient.

Installing Water Efficient Faucets

Lastly, updating your kitchen faucet and bathroom faucet can provide huge benefits to your whole houses water saving abilities. These simple upgrades can often save over a gallon of water per minute, thus making water waste while washing hands and brushing teeth much less impacting. Also, if you have a leaky faucet, installing a new one can save over 1000 gallons a year, since the faucet is not constantly dripping.

These are just a few simple tips and updates you could make to help you house be more water and energy efficient. Even if you only commit to updating one or two of these things, your house will be much greener, and you should see savings in your energy and water bills.