Converting Your House Into a Green Home 101

If you already own a home that you love but are concerned about how your living impacts the environment, there are a few upgrades you can preform to reduce the amount of energy used on a daily basis and make your house into a more sustainable, green home for as long as it stands. Here are a few quick tips to get you started.

Convert Your House Into a Green Home

A popular upgrade is the energy efficient light bulb. A conventional light bulb is sold by watts, 60 and 100 watts being the average. However you can reduce the amount of watts used considerably by changing the type of bulb you buy. LED lights use only a fraction of the wattage, around 4 watts. Another choice if LED isn’t available would be the compact fluorescent bulb which averages about 14 watts.

Another small change you can make to lower your energy and water use is replacing your showerhead with a low-flow model. These types of showerheads can use up to 70 percent less water than the conventional models. Reducing the amount of water used during a shower has several benefits for everyone. It reduces water consumption and waste water charges, it lowers the cost of heating your water by up to 15 %, and for those using private wells or septic tanks, its cuts power consumption and the demands of the system overall.

further improvement in the bathroom

A further improvement in the bathroom can be made by installing a water-saver flush kit in your toilet. These kits can save thousands of litres of water every year. If you go one step further and replace older toilets with new ones that use only 6 litres per flush you will cut the consumption of your flushes by up to 70 % or more. A homemade kit can be used by suspending a plastic bag or bottle that has been filled with water inside the toilet tank. Just make sure not to displace the water too much to keep toilet performance to one flush per use.

Not everyone has the funds to replace all of their windows or appliances with state of the art energy efficient models, which would be another way to reduce heating costs and energy consumption. But you can install weather stripping and caulking to plug up drafty leaks. You can apply these not only around your windows, but around your doors, electrical outlets, faucets, pipes and up in the attic. Smaller appliances such as toaster or microwaves do have green alternatives on the market although the biggest consumer to trade-in would be the fridge.

Lastly, setting your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter is a simple solution. While you are out or in bed for the night, programming the thermostat to save energy during these times can also save an extra 10 % on heating and cooling costs.

Also, seriously consider growing some of your own food on site as well as giving your hand to composting at home. These efforts can reduce your grocery bills, as well as provide you with nutritious food and rich soil for your garden. -KATIE FLYNN

Little steps is all it takes to start conserving energy around your new green home.

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