Photo credit: pfala
A common problem that I run into is that people think that it costs a lot of money to go green. In some cases this may be true, but there are a lot of small things we all can do to save a little energy. I've put together a list of things that cost under $30 that will save you energy.
1. Programmable Thermostat: Using a programmable thermostat can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. The basic idea is to not heat or cool your home when you are not there. These can easily be purchased at your local hardware store and are fairly simple to install.
2. Caulk: It's amazing what a $4 tube of caulk can do! Fill in all those leaky cracks around windows, doors and foundations and you can really cut down on your energy usage.
3. Furnace Filter: If your home is heated using a forced air furnace, than you need to replace your furnace filter on a regular basis. When they become clogged up this will cause your furnace to work harder, which uses more energy. Also choose your filter carefully, as a thicker filter may make your furnace work harder!
4. Power Strips: A lot of electronics such as DVD players and coffee makers are always using power when they are plugged in. By plugging your appliances into power strips you will easily be able to cut the power to these devices when they are not in use.
5. Window film: There are huge varieties of window filmthat you can use on your house hold windows. Some of these reflect sunlight keeping your home cooler. There is also the added bonus fewer UV rays fading your furniture!
6. Light Sensors: This one may seem a little unusual for home use, but think how many times we leave rooms with the lights on and get sidetracked. By having sensorsÂ installed the lights would simply turn off after no movement is detected for a certain period of time.
7. Timers: If you can plug it in, you can run it off a timer. Things like exterior lights and water heaters are great things to have on timers. Why keep lights running when they are not needed and why heat water when you are not home to use it.
8. Low Flow Shower Heads: Low flow shower heads are designed to give you a great shower, but useÂ less water in the process. This saves on water heating costs and pump costs.
9. Draft Stop: These are more helpful in colder climates, but a draft stop along the bottom of exterior doors can keep a lot of cold air out of your home. This can help reduce heating costs and also keep your feet warmer!
10. Blinds and Drapes: Blinds and Drapes are a great way to keep the hot sun and UV raysÂ out in the summer and keep the warm air in during the winter. There are thousands of different designs, but to save some money, you can always make your own!
11. LED Christmas Lights: LED Christmas Lights not only use 80-90% less energy than standard lights, but they also last a lot longer. This keeps our electricity bills down and our landfills a little less crowded.
12.Wall Plate Insulators: All of the wall sockets and light switches in your home that are on outside walls can let cold air inside. By using insulators behind the plates, you will keep a little warmer this winter!
13.Blankets and Sweaters: You can keep the thermostat set a little lower in the winter by wearing sweaters and covering up with blankets. There really is no need to have your home temperature set high enough to be able to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt!
14.Insulating Pipes: By insulating your hot water pipes you can save water heating costs. You can also save yourself from burning yourself on hot pipes! Pipe insulation is easy enough to install that any home owner should be able to do it!
15. CFL light bulbs: While I am not a fan of CFL light bulbs because of the Mercury content, frailness, and short life span, they do save electricity. They are a far better choice than the old incandescent bulbs we have been using for 100 years.