Category: Save Money

What is Green Living?

What-is-Green-Living

Green living encompasses nearly all aspects of life. This lifestyle prevents environmental harm, helping to ensure that humans and animals can safely live on Earth for centuries to come. In some cases, it can offer supplemental benefits, like saving money or protecting your health.

Live Green To Conserve Our Planet

To live in an eco-friendly manner, it’s important to avoid unnecessary consumption. For instance, you could conserve plastic or cardboard by purchasing a large package of rice rather than several small bags or boxes. You can also forgo disposable goods that you don’t really need, such as paper cups and plastic shopping bags.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is another important aspect of green living. People can cut pollution by installing wind turbines or photovoltaic panels on their homes. If this isn’t an option, it’s best to find ways to conserve electricity by using more efficient devices or turning off electronics when they aren’t needed.

Other Ways To Reduce Consumption

Transportation plays a major role as well. Although it isn’t always possible, people can greatly reduce their environmental impact by walking or using bicycles. Trains, buses, and car-pooling also save considerable amounts of fuel and minimize air pollution.

Water Consumption

Saving water is crucial, especially in arid climates. This type of conservation also reduces consumption of the electricity that homes use to pump water. Sometimes this task is as simple as taking a shower instead of a bath. It may also involve more complex efforts, such as repairing leaky faucets or replacing inefficient fixtures.

Green Shopping

Green living often prompts careful shopping choices. For example, you might choose to buy an Energy Star appliance, rechargeable batteries or unbleached paper goods.

And while it’s not always a realistic option, buying used merchandise can also reduce a person’s carbon footprint in many situations. For instance, a tremendous amount of used clothing remains in excellent condition. These items don’t need to be shipped across the country or around the world before someone buys them.

You could also visit a restaurant that uses biodegradable containers rather than foam take-out boxes or coffee cups.

Small Decisions Make a Big Impact

These tiny decisions don’t only affect your personal impact on the environment. They set a positive example for other individuals around you.

Organic-food-shoppingThis encourages businesses to supply more eco-friendly products and services. If most people refuse to buy bleached coffee filters or inefficient appliances, manufacturers will need to make improvements and suppliers offer better products.

Green living enthusiasts frequently check ingredient lists when they purchase household supplies. Numerous cleaning products contain harmful toxic chemicals. They can trigger health problems and contribute to water pollution. Fortunately, safe natural alternatives are available.

People also protect the environment by forgoing various chemicals that aren’t really necessary. They let harmless dandelions grow in the lawn rather than spraying weed killers. Others prioritize non-chemical ways to keep pests at bay, such as caulking and weather-stripping.

Not everyone can afford to eat exclusively organic food, but most people have the ability to buy at least a few of these products. Farmers grow organic crops without spraying pesticides or other chemicals, so they’re less likely to harm human or animal health.

Taking Out the Trash

Think twice before throwing any significant item in the trash. Ask yourself if someone else could make use of it in some way. Consider donating it to a thrift shop, offering it for free in the classified ads, or conduct some more research to find out if it could be repaired.

Recycling is also a very important part of living green. You can buy products with packagings that can be recycled, such as cardboard instead of styrofoam or hybrid materials. After using these items, bring the materials to local recycling centers.

Get Your Priorities Green

Green priorities will incentivise you to learn new skills or techniques. You can reduce packaging waste, get better nutrition, or even make a difference with something as simple as learning how to make a printer use both sides of the paper.

Eco-friendly living certainly takes extra time or work in some situations. Nonetheless, it’s worth the effort to gain the priceless benefits of this lifestyle. Green choices can help make it possible for a person to live a long, healthy life while working to preserve what’s most beautiful in our world.

How a Professional Home Energy Audit Will Save You Money

home-energy-auditor

Do you feel like your home’s utility bills are higher than expected? If it costs more to heat your home in winter, chances are that it might cost more to cool your home in summer. But did you know that you can save anywhere between 5%-30% on your energy costs just by ordering an energy audit for your property?

Do I Need an Energy Audit?

If you are not sure if an energy audit is for you, answer the following questions:

  1. Are you remodeling?Thermographic-heat-inspection
  2. Do you want to “go green”?
  3. Do you have high utility bills?
  4. Are you interested in energy efficiency?
  5. Do you want to increase the value of your home?
  6. Are some areas of your home too hot or too cold?

What Exactly is an Energy Audits

An energy audit is an inspection and analysis of your property. The main purpose of this type of inspection is to determine the energy efficiency of your home. This may involve a room-by-room examination of your home. It also involves the analysis of several characteristics of your home, including the windows, ceiling, floors, doors and more.

Many professional energy assessments will include the following methods:

  • blower door test
  • thermographic scan

A “blower door” is a machine used to physically locate air leaks. The blower door fan is temporarily sealed into an exterior doorway using the door panel system. All the interior doors are opened, exterior doors are closed, and some other preparations are made. Once ready, the blower door fan blows air into or out of the home, creating either a positive or negative pressure differential that can be measured. It can also be used to test ductwork airtightness and measure airflow between zones.

A thermographic inspection makes use of an infrared scanning device to detect temperature variations on the interior or exterior of your property. The images collected by this device will help to determine whether or not insulation is required in certain areas.

Once testing has been completed, a written report estimating the energy efficiency of your home will be completed by the professional who did the audit. The report will take into consideration factors such the local climate criteria, roof overhang, as well as the solar orientation.

The auditor will also take other factors into consideration such as:

  • How many people live in the home?
  • Is anyone home during working hours?
  • Are there any areas not being used?
  • What is the average thermostat settings for summer and winter?

How To Find The Best Auditor

It’s extremely important that you find a licensed professional to do the energy audit for you. Luckily, there are several options available if you would like to have an energy audit performed on your property.

Your state or local government should be able to assist you with a list of certified professionals who should be able to assist you. You can also consult The Residential Energy Services Network. This directory will be able to put you in touch with a local professional.

However, be sure to compare at least 3 estimates to ensure you get a feel for the current pricing trends in your region. Always keep in mind when you do this, however, that not every person who is willing to quote you may be a licensed professional. You should always check references before you go ahead and do business with anyone.

 

Remember, the only way to ensure that an energy audit is going to save you money is by having done right, the first time. By taking some time to select the right professional for your audit you will be saving yourself more money down the line.

How To Prepare Your Home for an Energy Audits

When you are expecting an energy auditor, you should take some time to prepare your home. This will help the auditor get the most accurate results. This could include some of the following:

  • move some furniture
  • removing the drapes
  • clear space for ladder access into the attic
  • clear space for access to crawl space, knee wall, or other access hatches

Make a list of all the issues you may be experiencing. This may include things like drafty rooms or areas where condensation is a problem. Also be sure to have copies of your monthly utility bills on hand for the auditor to scrutinize.

How Much Do Energy Audits Cost?

Home energy audits are sometimes subsidized by local governments or utilities. However, you should expect to budget anywhere between $300-$500.  Some contractors will also offer reduced rates should you hire them to make the recommended improvements to your house.

However, this cost will pale in comparison to how much you will be able to save on your utility bills over time.

The benefits of having an energy audit done

Apart from the savings over time, the other benefits of doing an energy audit includes:

  • Improved comfort of your home
  • Increased resale value of your home
  • Accounts for any unnecessary usage of energy
  • Helps you to adopt a greener lifestyle
  • Better health as you eliminate the cause of mold, mildew and improved air quality

When you have completed your energy audit and taken the necessary steps to prevent unnecessary energy consumption, you may be elated once the utility bills start coming in with lower numbers.

Categories: Save Money

9 Ways To Save Money by Going Green

Go-green-and-save

When you decide to go green, the possibilities become endless. Modern homeowners are not only aware that green living starts at home and doing their bit to save the planet….going green allows you to save valuable dollars at the same time!

Green properties have also been on the radar for a long time now…so if you’re in the market to sell your home, it should interest you to know that green properties sell faster…and for significantly more!

Go Green and Save

If you want to do your bit for the environment and embrace green living at the same time, why not try some of the following tips to help you limit your energy usage so that you can keep your energy bills to a minimum.

1. Replace old light bulbs

For a small investment, you can save hundreds of dollars by replacing your old light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent lights, also called CFLs. You can also opt for LED light. Both of these have their advantages, and it comes down to personal preference. You don’t have to change all of them at once, but once you do, they might last as long as 10 years!

2. Unplug everything

When you’re not using an appliance or other electronics, they may still be using up valuable electricity.

Turn-off-computerJust by being plugged in, DVD players, modems, computers, and a wide array of other comforts we have in our homes all use unnecessary electricity when they remain plugged in after being used.

As for your phone, once that light goes green, you’re wasting electricity.

If you take a few seconds every time just to unplug your electonics once they’re no longer being used, you could save yourself hunders, if not thousands of dollars over time.

3. Buy energy-efficient products

Many of the modern appliances, electronics, heating and cooling systems, lighting and more available on today’s market come with an energy efficient rating. These may come at a higher price tag compared to standard products, but the savings will be worth it over time. Always look for the Energy Star rating if you want to invest in a green lifestyle.

4. Recycle

If you’re able to recycle, why not save all your bottles and cans for a monthly trip to the bottle return center.  While it’s true that you might only save just over $100 per year by recycling used materials like aluminum cans or glass bottles, cultivating a culture of recycling is important for society at large. There are also several economic advantages of recycling in the long-term.

5. Save water to save money

Not only can you take shorter showers – why not install a low flow showerhead?

This could reduce your water usage 25-60%, which means big savings on your bills.

Cheap and easy to install water aerators will help to reduce the flow of water, which will also reduce the costs of your water heating.

6. Save on wash day

Wait until you have a big load before you do the washing. And when the time comes, be sure to use cold water. This will save water and energy on wash day. You should also hang your clothes on the line. Dryers don’t come that Energy Star rating that guarantees savings and you could save a ton of money.

7. Consider solar power

Solar energy is not only abundant – it also holds a number of benefits for the environment. After all, the sun is the one resource that most countries around the world have in abundance. With so many government and local incentives, and trusted solar installers going solar has never been easier. Solar panels on your roof will allow you to start saving on your bills as soon as they are switched on.

8. Turn off the water heater

If you’re simply looking for a quick, no-cost, energy efficient way of saving money, just turn your water heater down. Nobody needs the water coming from your taps to be as hot as it can be. Adjusting your water heater to around 120 degrees could save up to 10 % in water heating costs. Homeowners can also consider a tankless water heater that avoids round-the-clock storage of hot water, as well as constant heat loss.

9. Programmable thermostat

According to the Energy Department, homeowners can save an estimated 10% every year on heating and cooling costs by installing a programmable thermostat. You can adjust the times you turn on the heating or cooling according to a schedule that will help you save money.

Categories: Save Money