Save Green by Being Green

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Necessary home improvements
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If you’re wondering how to cut your household bills, take a look at your energy usage. You may be amazed how much energy and money you can save with something as simple as turning off unused lights or scaling back on your heat. Sometimes using a gas fireplace or stove to heat one room is more energy efficient than heating the whole house at once.

Energy Efficient…Hot Tubs?

We have baseboard heat in our sunroom and always debate whether it’s better to leave it on low all night or turn it off at night and back on during the day. I haven’t found the answer, but did find some interesting info on energy usage. Not surprising, a four person hot tub uses lots of energy and a vacuum uses very little. Hmmm…I don’t like where that’s going. I’ll take the hot tub over vacuuming any day.

Contractors in the Know

If you’re planning some remodeling, it’s always a good time to talk to your contractor about being more energy efficient. A higher efficiency water heater or furnace can quickly provide a payback in lower energy bills. Replacement windows take a lot longer to recoup your investment, but you feel more comfortable right away.

There is even some talk about the government helping pay for some energy efficient home improvements. (Note the “Cash for Caulkers” moniker…priceless.)

Energy Audit…Better Than the IRS

If you’re unsure of how energy efficient your home is, try an energy audit. A certified contractor measures air loss, insulation value, and other criteria and gives you a good idea of what type of remodeling you can do to improve energy usage.

Energy efficiency has generated a lot of buzz in recent years and it’s easy to translate it to your own home. What can I turn off? How can I use energy more sparingly? In the end, being energy efficient helps the environment and leads to more green for your own wallet.

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