I think it’s safe to say that we all want to have a healthy planet and that anything we can do to be greener and more eco-friendly will help, even just a little. Owning a home and attempting to go greener can be costly, but a recent study from Rewiring America has come up with a way to budget to improve reducing your impact on global warming, to wit:
If you have under $500, you can change out your light bulbs and even some fixtures to be more energy efficient. Incandescent bulbs are history so installing compact fluorescent lighting or light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDS) will save you hundreds in electric bills each year. Installing a smart thermostat so you can turn down the heat or up your AC temperature in the summer while you’re not home is really great now that we can control these things with our phones. The estimated savings for both these items is $480. With a budget of $1,000-$5,000 you can install an electric charger for your electric vehicle at home, which should cost around $2,500 and save you @ $1,000 plus a 30% tax credit. Another item that will help is to slowly replace your windows, a few at a time, within your yearly budget of under $5,000. It’s also extremely inexpensive to blow in more insulation into your attic to save on heating and cooling bills-also under $5,000. Also for less than $5,000 you can install a more efficient water heater and/or a heat pump water heater. Hell, and for less than $100 you can wrap your water heater now in insulation and that will save you money and help save the planet!
Another website, greenamerica.org found that in many households, the dryer is the third-most energy-hungry appliance after the refrigerator and washer. Air-drying your clothes can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by a whopping 2,400 pounds a year. According to the Netherlands Statistical Office, 75% of households in the US own a clothes dryer but about half of households in Europe own one. According to FEMA, clothes dryer vents become clogged with lint and cause up to 15,000 house fires every year. You can dry your clothes outside in good weather but many can’t commit to doing that in the winter. Find a space in your basement or storage area to dry clothes and get a clothes rack off the web. Get a floor fan and turn it on a low setting to dry the items and you will find that you will use a lot less electricity than you would use when operating a dryer. Also, drying clothes inside can have an added benefit, as it helps to keep indoor winter air moist like a low-tech humidifier.