By Uma Campbell
As the global climate change crisis continues to affect our planet, more homeowners are looking to make their house green without breaking the bank. There is a common misconception that going green is expensive and requires a significant amount of work, but anyone can make small changes at home to make their lives a little more eco-friendly. With these simple tips and tricks, you can easily make your house greener without spending an excessive amount of money or investing multiple days’ worth of work.
If you are starting a construction project that will use wood, be sure to look for reclaimed wood instead of buying fresh lumber. Whether you are using wood for support beams, flooring, making furniture, or any other construction project, reclaimed wood works just as well as fresh lumber while being eco-friendly. Reclaimed wood is a catch-all term for wood that was used, cleaned up, and is now available to use again. While reclaimed wood was previously used with most reclaimed wood coming from houses that were torn down, it is perfectly safe to use. Many green companies specialize in stripping usable building materials from buildings about to be torn down and they ensure any reclaimed materials are safe to use.
You can also use second-hand wood as decoration. Driftwood can wash up on beaches with interesting knots and twists making it a beautiful and free centerpiece. You can also add branches to wreaths and another decor to bring a woodland quality to your home. However, be sure to inspect any wood you bring into your house as diseases or pest-infested wood can lead to future issues. Damp or decaying wood is likely infested with pests such as termites, so dispose of any tainted wood and keep it out of your house.
Programmable or Smart Thermostat
Most homes come with a standard thermostat that requires the homeowner to manually turn it on and off, but a programmable or smart thermostat can take care of that. A programmable thermostat will follow whatever program a homeowner sets. You can easily set your programmable thermostat to turn on or off at certain times and to maintain a certain temperature. A smart thermostat will learn your patterns and adjust the heating/cooling according to your behavior and set instructions. Not only will a programmable or smart thermostat save you money on monthly energy bills, but it will help you lead a more eco-friendly life.
When you hear the word ‘insulation’ you likely think of insulation boards or foam that goes in a home’s walls, but there are other ways of insulating your house. Thick curtains, when drawn shut, will help prevent heat from leaking out of your windows. A large area rug over hard flooring will help keep that room warmer. Consider double-glazing your windows to keep even more heat in. Double pane Energy Star rated windows are ideal for insulation, but they are expensive to install. Double pane Energy Star windows help offset their sticker price by saving you money over time as the better insulation will reduce the amount of heat that can escape your house. Keep double pane windows in mind should one of your windows need replacing.
Better Light Bulbs
For years, incandescent light bulbs were the standard choice, but modern technology has brought us LED and CFL light bulbs that are far superior. LED and CFL bulbs last longer, shine brighter and use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. The average incandescent bulbs use 60 W and lasts for 1,200 hours. A CFL bulb uses 14 W and has a lifespan of 8,000 hours and an LED bulb uses 7 W and lasts for 25,000 hours. Running an incandescent for 10 years will cost over $90 in just energy usage whereas an LED bulb run for 10 years will only use $18 worth of energy. While incandescent bulbs cost less upfront, they need to be replaced more frequently and end up costing more than CFL or LED bulbs in every category over time.
Going green needn’t be expensive or complicated. With these simple changes, you can make your house greener and save money at the same time.