Home safety expert John Drengenberg, the Consumer Safety Director at Underwriter Laboratories (UL), has some great tips on the economics of going green that I wanted to share with you on this Earth Day:
Saving valuable resources is good for all of us, but it’s even more appealing when you realize that it’s good for your own pocketbook too. A few dollars here and there can add up to extra money you can spend where it really counts: on your family and home.
Green Savings #1: CFLs
Most people don’t realize the electricity to run a light bulb costs more than the bulb itself. Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for overall savings.
Savings potential: About $30 per bulb (based on CFL life of 10,000 hours)
Green Savings #2: Insulation
Spend a few hundred dollars to add insulation to your attic, walls and basement to keep cool air in during the summer and out during the winter.
Savings potential: 10 to 30 percent of your annual heating and cooling bill
Green Savings #3: Caulking and Weather Stripping
Seal up leaky windows or add low-E glazing and storm windows. Add weather stripping to doors and windows that don’t seal as tightly as they should.
Savings potential: $15 per window or door per year
Green Savings #4: Plumbing Fixtures
You’ll have to invest up front on new fixtures, but they’ll likely pay for themselves over the long run. Install a low-flow showerhead ($65 per year), water-efficient toilet ($25 per year), a more efficient water heater ($48 per year) and a whole house water filter ($312 per year).
Savings potential: Up to about $450 per year
Green Savings #5: Programmable Thermostat
If you come and go at predictable times, have a programmable thermostat added to conserve energy while you’re away and keep things comfortable when you’re home.
Savings potential: $180 per year
Green Savings #6: Home Energy Audit
Call a professional energy auditor to evaluate your home’s energy efficiency and recommend improvements.
Savings potential: Depending on your rating, it could be thousands of dollars
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