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Green Homes Don't Have to Cost a Fortune

Planning green homes on a budget

It isn’t always easy to decide to make changes in your daily life, especially based on environmental concerns. The problems facing the planet seem like something that’s not going to affect us for a long time and there’s a misconception that “going green” is pretty costly. However, the latter part doesn’t have to be true. Significant green improvements to your property can be done on a budget if you know where to look for the right materials and where to cut costs.

Going green doesn't have to cost too much
Small green improvements to your home can make your home
more energy-efficient, without costing too much.

Insulation

Proper insulation can save you a lot of money on the energy bill, which is also good for your carbon footprint. Do a bit of research before you hire a contractor. Find out about the “R value” of the insulation you’re getting. It measures the resistance to airflow. Make the choice based on the climate. Also, find out the material the insulation is made from –fiberglass is the most eco-friendly option because it’s a recycled (out of glass and sand). There’s no need to insulate the entire home (at least not right away) – start with the areas where you’re losing the most heat. It’s usually the attic.

Reduce your home's carbon footprint
By making small changes to your home's insulation, your can reduce
your home's carbon footprint and save in the long run.

Showers

Baths are notorious for wasting water, but showers can be made greener as well. Water-saving showerheads are easy to find, inexpensive and anyone can install them. Some of them can reduce the water expenditure by up to 90 percent, depending on the type you choose. These showers restrict the volume of water that goes through them. Because the pressure changes so quickly there’s no noticeable difference in the experience. The only problem is that it doesn’t work for those households that already have a water pressure issues.

Help our planet survive
With growing economies and increasing waste, steps are being taken
globally to recycle more and reduce waste, by going green.

Solar panels

In the long solar panels will save you significantly more money than you need to install them. However, you can save on the installation as well. Do the research to choose the best solar panels for the size of your property and the amount of sun exposure you’re getting. You can also save a lot of money by applying for government programs designated to subsidize green energy. In addition, your electric company might even offer to pay for the excess electrical power you produce.

Cut your electricity bill with solar panels
Electricity bill is usually one of the most expensive utilities, which be
significantly reduced by installing solar panels on the roof.

Lights

The most radical thing you can do about the lighting is to change the lightbulbs to CFL’s. This will reduce the energy consumption for lighting by 80 percent. However, these lightbulbs are more expensive than regular ones. Try replacing them in phases - one room at the time. Meanwhile, there are a few neat tricks you try on the old lightbulbs. Unscrewing and dusting them every once in a while can actually save power. Move table lights to the corner of the room, this gives more reflection and brightness. And in the end – turn the lights off when you’re not around.

Energy saving light bulb

The old incandescent light bulbs are out and new energy-saving light bulbs are in, of which the LED bulbs are by far most energy efficient.

Thermostat

Almost 50 percent of all energy consumption is spent on heating and cooling your home. You can save up to 5 percent on electricity just by setting it one degree lower during the winter and one degree higher during the summer. Long-term solution is to install a programmable thermostat. That means that the heat will turn on when the temperature in the room reaches a point you chose. It’s best if a professional makes these changes because it can be difficult.

Go green for greater savings
Make a commitment to gradually change over to green improvements to your
home, and you will have more energy-efficient home, whose value will raise.

Sometimes smaller adjustment to your home can have a greater impact on the environment than the big ones. They can add up and make a difference to your home budget and environmentally. Plus you feel like you're actually doing something to help the environment.

All above images courtesy of Creative Commons

Diana Smith

Author bio:

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In her free time she enjoys writing about home and family, pets and gardening.

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