Green home improvements can be quite pricey (solar panels come to mind) but they don’t necessarily have to cost a bundle. Here are 5 ways to save energy for under $50 each — try them out and watch your utility bills shrink.
Install Low-cost Lighting
Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs have emerged as the most efficient alternative to incandescents: they use 85 percent less energy and last 20 years longer. Swap in some LED bulbs around the house for an easy way to save energy.
Seal Gaps, Cracks and Holes
As tightly built as today’s homes may be, there are still many places for air to escape, bringing your heating and cooling dollars along with it. Stop the flow with affordable foam sealants, caulk and weatherstripping.
Bulk up Home Insulation
Many homes simply don’t have enough insulation, especially in the ceiling, where most heat loss occurs. For around $30 a roll, you can add six inches of insulation to this zone and feel immediate results.
Get a Smart Thermostat
A clock setback thermostat can cut heating costs by 10 percent. Program it to warm or cool living spaces when you’re home, and ease up on the climate control when you’re not.
Cut Hot Water Waste
Most tank hot water heaters work 24/7 to maintain your household supply. So, until you can go tankless, wrap your heater with a water heater blanket to reduce heat loss, and dial the heat setting down to 110 degrees. You’ll still have plenty of hot water comfort, but without the energy waste.
For even more energy savings, consider upgrading to a new tankless water heater. These new units not only save energy, they’ve completely eliminated the need to wait for the water to get hot! New technology enables these tankless water heaters to circulate the hot water before you need it, completely eliminating the “shower shock” that can happen when the first blast of icy cold water clears the pipes, saving up to 12,000 gallons of water a year while delivering a virtually never ending supply of hot water.
Going easier on the planet doesn’t have to be hard on your wallet. If you want to save energy at home but don’t have the budget for big projects, these 5 ideas will provide great returns on a relatively small investment.