Reducing your home’s carbon footprint will save you money but many people worry about going broke in the process. However, making your home more eco-friendly shouldn’t cause you to go broke, it does require a bit of planning to get it done right. As such, here are some tips on how to reduce your home’s carbon footprint without going broke.
Maybe Jimmy Carter was Right
As much as we might hate to admit it, one of the simplest ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your home in the winter is to put on a sweater or use an extra blanket at night. Maybe Jimmy Carter had it right as this option will not only cut the amount of energy your home is using but it costs almost nothing to make happen.
Sure, you might reach a point when this option might not work for you – especially if you live in the frozen tundra of Green Bay or the deep-snow country of Upstate New York. But for the rest of us, we can easily keep the thermostat at 67⁰ Fahrenheit during the winter months. In fact, there is even evidence to suggest that this is the ideal temperature for sleep.
The only exception would be if you are living in one of the Sunbelt states. In that case, putting on a sweater is probably not an option for you. As such, you might want to check out one of these other tips.
Cut the Cord
You might have thought that this would only apply to your cable TV subscription, but you can also make cord cutting part of your plan to make your home more eco-friendly. All you need to do is unplug your unused appliances as turning them off is no longer enough.
The reason is simple, modern appliances like TVs and computers continuously draw electricity even when they are turned off. You might even be “shocked” to learn how much some appliance draw when they are not in use.
Research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) indicates that a microwave burns about 3 watts of energy when not in use and a coffee maker uses more than 1 watt. We rarely use these appliances and as such it makes sense to cut the cord when they are not in use.
Shower Don’t Bathe
If you look at the history of bathing, then you will see that daily showers are a rather new development. Now, this is not to say that we should go back to only bathing once a week. However, if you want to make our homes more eco-friendly, then you should be mindful of how much water you are using.
This starts by favoring showers over baths and then by cutting down on the water you use when showering. To do so simply turn off the water after you lather up and then turn it on when you need to rinse off. Beyond this, you can also use a timer when you shower as this will force you to cut down on the amount of time, and water needed to get clean.
One more tip before you move on set your water heater to no more than 110⁰ Fahrenheit. Most doctors believe this is the ideal temperature for a shower and any hotter means you are most likely wasting energy to heat water that you will then mix with cold water. So, skip the baths, cut back on your water usage, and keep the temperature at a reasonable level.
Cut Down on Drafts
It doesn’t matter if you live in the Snowbelt or the Sunbelt, a large amount of the energy loss in your home is through your windows and doors. As such, you want to focus on tricks to help keep your house warm in winter and cool in the summer heat.
If you live in a cold-weather state, then you will want to keep the shades to your south-facing windows open during the daytime as this will let in the sunlight. Alternatively, you will want to keep the shades on your north-facing windows closed as much as possible as this will keep the heat from escaping your home.
When it comes to living in the sunbelt, you’ll need to be a bit more judicious – especially on hot days. Beyond this, you could also invest in triple-pane windows, though this might require a significant investment. As such, you could either take out a home equity loan to help pay for the investment or if you are over 62, you could consider a reverse mortgage.
If this is something that you think this might make sense then you should check out the expert answers according to Ask ARLO concerning reverse mortgage lenders and how their programs work.