By: Suzie Vance
Buying a new home in San Antonio is a huge personal investment. For most people, buying a house will be the biggest investment they ever make. Considering the costs involved in the purchase of a house (from the down payment to the closing costs to the monthly interest and more), you’ll want to find ways to save some money, both in the short term and the long term. One of the most effective ways to do this is by making your home more eco-friendly.
Why Go Eco-Friendly?
Eco-friendly homes are not only good for the environment – they can also save you money. By making your home more energy-efficient, you can lower your monthly utility bills. In addition, eco-friendly homes often have a lower carbon footprint, which can save you money on your taxes. And, as an added bonus, many green features also add to the resale value of your home.
What Are Some Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly?
There are lots of ways that you can make your home more eco-friendly. Some of these ways require little to no investment. However, those that do require some initial investment (whether of time or money) tend to result in a greater impact over the long term. With that in mind, the following are eight ways that you can make your home more eco-friendly:
1. Install Low-Flow Fixtures
One of the easiest ways to make your home more eco-friendly is to install low-flow fixtures in your sinks, showers, and toilets. Simply installing a low-flow showerhead can end up saving you upwards of 2,900 gallons of water a year. Low-flow fixtures use less water than traditional fixtures, thereby reducing the amount of water you waste while also can saving you money on your water bill. In addition, if you live in an area with water restrictions, low-flow fixtures can help you avoid fines.
2. Get a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to set your home’s temperature according to a schedule. This way, you can make sure that your home is only heated or cooled when you need it to be.
For example, if your home is empty five days out of the week, you can set your programmable thermostat to switch to an energy-saving setting when you leave and have it turn back on to your desired temperature right before you come back home from work. Doing so can save you money on your energy bill, as well as help to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
3. Replace Old Light Bulbs With LEDs
It’s estimated that LED lights use around 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs. Even though LED bulbs cost more initially, the amount you’ll save on energy use over the long run will be substantial, especially when you consider the fact that LED light bulbs last 25 to 35 times longer, which means that you’re spending way less money replacing bulbs while also contributing less to waste.
4. Invest In A Tankless Water Heater
A tankless water heater is a great eco-friendly investment for any home. Unlike a traditional water heater, which keeps a certain amount of water hot at all times, a tankless water heater heats up water on demand. As a result, you don’t have to waste energy keeping water hot when you’re not using it. In addition, tankless water heaters tend to last longer than traditional water heaters, which means you’ll save money in the long run.
5. Invest In A More Energy Efficient HVAC System
An energy-efficient HVAC system can do wonders for your energy bills and your home’s carbon footprint. While the initial investment may be a bit pricey, you’ll save money in the long run, both on your energy bills and on maintenance and repair costs. In addition, if you live in an area with hot summers and cold winters, an energy-efficient HVAC system can keep your home comfortable all year long without breaking the bank.
6. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances are one of the biggest energy hogs in most homes. If your appliances are old and outdated, they’re likely using a lot more energy than newer, more energy-efficient models. While it may be costly to replace all of your appliances at once, you can start by replacing the most energy-intensive ones, such as your refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and washing machine. Doing so can lead to substantial savings on your energy bill.
7. Use Power Strips
Even if you turn off your electronics, they will continue to draw power from your home’s outlets as long as they are plugged in. This is known as “phantom power,” and it can account for up to 10 percent of your home’s energy use. Although unplugging any electronics that you’re not using will help, remembering to do so can be a lot to ask.
To make things easier, invest in a power strip with an on/off switch, which makes it easy to turn off all of your electronics at once. When a power strip is turned off, it will shut off all phantom power from being drawn.
8. Reuse And Recycle
One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to simply reuse and recycle items instead of throwing them away. For example, instead of buying paper towels, use reusable cloth towels. You can also compost your food scraps, which will help to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills. You can then use the compost for your garden.
And of course, recycling items such as plastic, glass, and metal can help to reduce the number of resources that are used to produce new products.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can make your home more eco-friendly. While some of these tips can be expensive initially, they’ll not only help save you money over the long term, but they can improve the value of your property. However, even making small changes can make a big difference in the amount of energy you use and the amount of money you spend. In addition, you’ll be doing your part to help significantly reduce your home’s carbon footprint.