It’s a new year, and most of you are in the process of planning your resolutions for the coming year. Why not consider including some easily-attainable green resolutions on your list? There are several easy steps that you can take around your home to create a greener living environment and also reduce monthly power bills. Here are ten suggested resolutions to help make your home more energy efficient in 2017.
1. Plant a garden.
When you plant a home garden, not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, but you’re also creating your own food source — reducing the amount of trips you take to your local market.
2. Bring more plants into your home.
Having plants in your home can be both visually appealing and beneficial to the air quality in your home. Plants absorb pollutants in your home and also help to absorb noise.
3. Replace traditional cleaning products with green products.
Using green products may help reduce your chances for asthma and other lasting medical conditions. In addition, green products are much milder and don’t leave a strong chemical odor like traditional products.
4. Replace air filters more often.
Check your air filters at least once every two months. Air filters are in place to prevent airborne particles in the air. The more saturated the filter, the more airborne particles in the air and the less air flow your HVAC system is circulating. A dirty filter can also become damp and grow mold or other damaging bacteria if not monitored regularly.
5. Replace traditional bulbs with LED bulbs.
LED bulbs are more affordable than ever before. LED bulbs also put out more light and last anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 hours longer than a traditional bulb. For a small investment, you can easily lower your energy costs while helping protect the environment at the same time.
6. Budget for new insulation.
This is a step that is often overlooked — especially in older homes. If you have a leaky space or several leaky spaces in your home, it can cost you thousands of extra dollars a year on your power bill. Have a professional inspect your home to check for major leaks and then hire a company to spray new insulation in the space.
7. Check chimneys, doors, and windows for air leaks.
Much like leaks in your insulation, cracks in doors, windows, and chimneys can also greatly increase your monthly power bill. On average, some homes lose up to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy through leaks a year. Window insulator kits and caulking can be purchased at your local convenience store and easily installed.
8. Replace old appliances.
Commit to saving for that new fridge or washing machine you’ve been eyeing for months. Because modern appliances are becoming more and more energy efficient, installing new appliances in your home may significantly lower your energy bills. But be sure to donate appliances whenever possible to keep them out of your local landfill.
9. Install a carbon monoxide alarm.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that is very dangerous. All homes should be equipped with one or more carbon monoxide alarms, as any heat-producing element is capable of producing carbon monoxide. You can pick one of these up at any local big box store or online.
10. Schedule an energy audit.
Energy audits can save you time and money by helping to identify energy irregularities in your home. During an audit, a certified home energy professional will complete a visual inspection of your home, review your energy bills, and conduct a blower door test to pinpoint leaky areas of your home. Schedule your audit today and start 2017 out right!
What are your green New Year’s resolutions this year? Share some of your resolutions from previous years that may have helped you reduce your carbon footprint.