Want to green your home but are put off by the amount of work and money involved? Don’t fret, there are plenty of budget-friendly initiatives that can make your home friendlier to the environment. Here’s a look at some of these:
- Joining a solar project
If you prefer not to install your own solar panels, consider joining a solar community project to switch to renewable power. Wisconsin’s Solar Connect Community is one such project, providing solar energy to participating households through solar gardens developed and maintained by Xcel Energy, and connected to their local power grid. Residents of Washburn, Bayfield, Ashland, and other Bayfield County communities will soon enjoy solar power delivered to their homes. A one-time fee will be paid to participate in the project, but you receive a monthly credit on your electricity bill based on the production of the solar gardens.
- Investing in houseplants
Houseplants absorb carbon dioxide, which then helps purify the air. Research also shows that introducing some plants and flowers inside the house can help reduce stress, enhance mood, and improve concentration. They go well with any interior design and in any part of the house – from the living room to the bathroom. If you don’t have a green thumb and worry about these plants dying on you, choose low-maintenance varieties that can thrive indoors with minimal care. Some options to consider are spider plants, English Ivy, Pothos, and Aloe.
- Changing your thermostat
Install a smart or programmable thermostat that can give you better control over your air conditioning and heating system. A smart or programmable system lets you turn on your HVAC units according to a preset schedule. Some thermostats can also automatically adjust the level of cooling or heating in a room depending on the occupancy. With more efficient energy use, you can potentially see significant savings on your utility bills.
- Adopting efficient water heating practices
Improving your water heater’s efficiency will not only lead to savings on your utilities bill, it also allows you to help save Mother Earth. Wisonsin Public Service offers the following tips:
- Reduce your hot water consumption
- Lower your water heater thermostat to 102 F
- Insulate your water heaters and piping to trap the heat
- Replace your old water heaters with Energy STAR certified equipment
- Plug air leaks
Air leaks can cause your heating and cooling system to work overtime, increasing your energy consumption. Unlatched windows, unsealed fireplace flues, bath fans with no dampers, and attic hatches could be the culprits. An unexplained spike in your utilities bill can indicate an air leak, as well as draft in your home. Hire a technician to detect its cause and recommend solutions.
- Clean Green
Unfortunately, many homeowners use home cleaning detergents that aren’t friendly to the environment. Switch to natural cleaning products that are not only earth-friendly but are also safer for your health. Consider a DIY approach and create your own cleaners using non-toxic household items, such as vinegar, lemon, and baking soda.
- Use LED Bulbs
LED bulbs last longer and create less waste heat than incandescent bulbs. They are 90% more efficient and need much less power to generate the same level of illumination. They also do not contain toxic elements, unlike fluorescent lights that contain mercury and other harmful chemicals.
If you’re looking for a green home in Bayfield Country or are looking for ways to make your home more environment-friendly, we can help. Give us a call at 715.682.7337 or email us at jstricker54546(at)gmail(dotted)com .