Green Your Home

Don’t’ wait to “go green” in your primary residence, or in your vacation home. It’s not necessary to buy or build a new property to begin making important changes in your home and life that are better for the environment.

The first step in making your home more energy efficient is to get an energy audit. Energy audits show where in your home you can save the most energy and, in most cases, the auditors will then fix those problems. Ecotelligent Homes is an example of an energy auditing company that shows you many ways you can conserve energy and use alternative forms of energy.

In terms of heating and cooling, it may be time to purchase a new HVAC unit. Old models may be working harder because they’ve been used for so long, which causes your energy bill to skyrocket. Newer models are more energy efficient or you could even invest in solar energy. You can also look into replacing insulation and getting air sealing done to areas in your house with possible air leaks. Doing this will help keep the heat or air inside your house. Investing in a programmable or WiFi thermostat helps better control the temperature in your home whether you’re home or away.

Another way you can move toward a greener home is you can replace your old water wasting toilets with low flow units. When it comes time to replace your existing appliances, make sure to look carefully at the relative efficiency of the appliances you are shopping for. Remember that efficiency here doesn’t just refer to lower energy costs; it applies to water savings in clothes and dishwashers. Front loading washing machines save hundreds of gallons each year. This is an especially important factor if your home(s) are in drought-prone areas.

Another important issue in going green is your choice for interior and exterior paints and finishes. Make sure to look for products that are low in VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). VOC’s are toxic pollutants that can cause both skin and lung irritation.

As always, there are simple fixes that help you be more green around the house like recycling, composting, turning off the lights when you’re not in the room, and taking shorter showers. Those little fixes can go a long way in protecting our planet.

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