There are many expensive products that will help you be more energy efficient and save money, such as purchasing solar panels or installing wind turbines.
Luckily, there are also many small and cheap changes that can be made to a home in order to be more green and eco-friendly.
These small changes can actually save a lot of money and the environment over time.
Here are some tips for making your home more energy efficient and saving money with little up front cost.
If one of your light bulbs burns out, replace it with an eco-friendly LED light bulb. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs only use 1/4 of the electricity required for a standard incandescent light bulb and can last 50 times longer.
LED light bulbs cost a little more than standard incandescent light bulbs, but you will save money due to lower electricity bills.
Unlike fluorescent light bulbs, LED light bulbs do not contain mercury that will pollute landfills.
Some LED bulbs are dimmable, however fluorescent light bulbs are not.
Another benefit is that LED light bulbs do not get hot like incandescent bulbs, which should reduce your air conditioning bill and save you more money.
In order to save water, reduce the amount of water in your toilet tank.
You can do this by getting an empty soda bottle, filling it with water, and putting it in your toilet tank.
This will reduce the amount of water used by 2 liters per flush and end up saving you money while you go green.
Use Cold Water Instead of Hot
Washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot or warm water can actually save a lot of money over time.
Most clothes that are not very dirty will get just as clean in cold water as in hot water, so why waste the electricity?
Also try drying your clothes outside on a clothes line instead of in a dryer.
Shade Your Home
Trees are not only beautiful, they also are eco-friendly.
Mature trees help shade your home, which reduces your electricity bill by up to 20% over homes without shade trees.
Deciduous trees should be planted towards the east and west of your property for the most shade benefit.
Evergreen trees should be planted toward the north side of your property to act as a wind break in the winter.
Consider creating shade with trees or an awning over your air conditioning unit to make it more efficient.
In most parts of the country, small trees only cost $10-$20 at a plant nursery, but can eventually increase your property value by as much as $1,000 per tree when mature.
Trees not only save you money but also make you money when you sell your home.
Eliminate Phantom Power
You have probably learned this one as a child and may need a reminder - turn off the lights when you leave the room.
Many household appliances also use phantom power, which is power that is used when the appliance is turned off.
To eliminate phantom power, unplug your appliances when they are not in use.
You can also plug your appliances into a plug strip and turn off the plug strip.
Eliminating or reducing phantom power can significantly reduce your electricity bill and save you money.
Select Energy Efficient Appliances
The next time you purchase an appliance, look at the energy ratings listed on that appliances verses other similar appliances.
Select one that uses less electricity, which will save you money.
Use a Water Heater Blanket
Purchase a water heater blanket to insulate your water heater.
Water heater blankets cost about $20, but could save up to 10% of your heating costs.
Change Your Air Filters
Change your home's air filters regularly.
New air filters allow your air conditioner to work more efficiently, use less electricity, and reduce the strain on your air conditioner so it will need costly maintenance less frequently.
Use Ceiling Fans
Use ceiling fans to keep your home cooler.
Inexpensive ceiling fans cost as little as $20, so it should pay for itself in the first month or two.
Check Your Home's Insulation
Make your home more insulated.
First, seal any gaps and cracks in your home's exterior, especially around your doors and windows.
Next, ensure that you have the proper amount of soffit vents and that they are not blocked in any way.
Third, make sure you have ridge vents. Fourth, seal up any gable vents.
Finally, add insulation to your attic.
These changes will help keep the temperature in your home more stable, thus saving you money and being more eco-friendly.
New insulation along with the other fixes may pay for themselves in about a year.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats can save money.
You can set the air conditioner to turn on about 30 minutes before you get home in the evening instead of running it all day.
Many programmable thermostats cost around $40, so it should pay for itself in a few months.