Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day means one thing -- green everywhere! Don’t stop at just your outfit, check out our tips for going green at home.
When we think of St. Patrick’s Day, one thing immediately comes to mind — GREEN EVERYTHING! From green clothes to green beer, people incorporate going green into everything they do for St. Patty’s Day. So why shouldn’t that include going green in your home? To prepare for the holiday, we’ve got a few helpful, eco-friendly tips. While we can’t promise you’ll find a pot of gold, these tips can save you some real green — money that is.
Water consumption is one of the major ways to go green no matter where you are, but especially in your home. Be conscious of your water waste. Take shorter showers when you can and reduce washer cycles if possible. If you’re already limiting your water consumption, but not noticing cost-saving results, have a plumber check your pipes for hidden leaks.
About 20% of your home’s energy cost comes from your water heater use. Energy savings here will account for even larger cash savings. Making sure your heater works adequately and cost-effectively, like setting your water heater to the ‘warm’ setting (roughly 120 degrees), will reduce the amount of energy the unit is using. You’ll still be able to enjoy your hot showers but at a better price.
Improve your home’s energy usage by switching all of your light bulbs to more efficient LEDs. Not only will your light quality improve, but the lifespan of your bulbs will increase by 10-20x. Just make sure you are using the correct wattage. For more information, read our lighting guide. While you’re replacing bulbs, switch up your outdoor lights with LEDs. It’ll help you save energy and improve your home’s security with brighter and longer lasting light sources.
Locate your windows that receive the most sunlight — those are often the south-facing windows. Take advantage of natural heat by keeping your blinds or curtains open during the day. This should let you keep the thermostat set lower, while still maintaining the same warmth in those areas.
Unplug any devices you aren’t using, like lamps and chargers. These work as ghost energy users. They can draw out small amounts of energy without being in use, costing you money without any benefit. The easiest way to cut off power to these phantom devices is by using a power strip or surge protector that you can turn off and on as needed.
Make a habit of correctly setting your thermostat to maximize efficiency. Typically, 68 degrees while your home or a few degrees cooler when you aren’t home should do the trick. Your system will run the most efficiently at 68 degrees while still keeping you comfortable in your home. If it’s too much of a hassle to program your thermostat everytime you come and go or wait for your home to heat back up or cool down, consider switching to a programmable thermostat, which will automatically turn off your heat or ac when you’re not home.
Since you’re already working on your heating and cooling system, make sure you’re changing your filters. These should be replaced every one to three months depending on the size of your home. Read our blog on choosing the right filters to ensure your home is using the best fit.
While it might mean a higher cost up-front, choosing energy efficient appliances, like a water heater or HVAC unit, can result in more considerable cost savings over time. Make sure to have a qualified technician install your system to optimize efficiency gains and ensure safety.
To find even more opportunities for going green in your home have a professional audit done to detect potential leaks or energy inefficiencies. Doing this annually or seasonally will provide you with cost savings and ensure your home is in the best shape possible. For more information on keeping your home energy efficient, contact a local technician today.