If you’re an environmentally conscious person, you may have pondered ways to make your home more sustainable.
There are many benefits to doing so. Aside from helping the planet, having a sustainable home can save you a lot of money while having a positive impact on the environment.
By reducing your energy consumption, for example, you’ll pay lower utility bills. Investments in eco-friendly upgrades can pay for themselves long-term through lower energy costs and higher property values.
READ MORE: Earth Day Conservation Guide
Install WaterSense® plumbing appliances
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 20% of a home's energy usage goes to its water heater.
If you’re shopping for new plumbing appliances, look for items with the EPA’s WaterSense® label. Products and services with the label are certified to use at least 20% less water than regular models.
Here are three appliances where you should look for the WaterSense® label:
Toilets: The program identifies efficient toilets that use a maximum 1.28 gallons per flush.
Faucets: Efficient faucets and aerators use a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute.
Showerheads: An efficient showerhead uses a maximum of 2.0 gallons per minute, according to the WaterSense® program’s guidelines.
Aside from upgrading your appliances, there are some other things you can do to save water:
Fix leaky faucets. A dripping faucet can cause you to waste a ton of water and pay high monthly water bills. Major changes in your monthly bill could indicate a leak that you didn’t know about.
Don’t forget about your toilet, too. You can use dye to see if you have a leaky toilet by putting a few drops of food coloring in your toilet’s tank and then wait 20 to 30 minutes.
If the water in the toilet bowl has changed to the color of the dye, then you have a leak and it’s time to get it fixed. Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing at 1-877-BEN-1776 or contact us online!
Improve insulation and seal air leaks
If your home has poor insulation and air leaks, you’ll experience major energy losses because inside air will escape and outside air will find its way inside. An HVAC professional can assess your home’s insulation quality and suggest areas for improvement.
For example, adding insulation to the attic, walls, and basement, and sealing gaps around windows, doors, and ductwork can help prevent heat transfer and maintain a stable indoor temperature. This will help with your HVAC system’s efficiency and allow it to consume less energy.
Another way to improve your HVAC system’s energy efficiency is to install a programmable thermostat, which will allow you to set different temperature schedules based on when people are in the house. You can adjust the temperature settings when you’re on vacation or sleeping so the air conditioning or heat isn’t running when it doesn’t need to be.
Install energy-efficient lighting
If you have traditional incandescent light bulbs in your house, consider replacing them with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). LED bulbs last significantly longer than traditional light bulbs, consuming less electricity while giving off the same amount of light. You’ll see lower utility bills as a result.
You may also consider investing in smart home technology, such as smart thermostats and smart power strips. These will allow you to have more control of how much energy you consume. Smart thermostats will let you program temperature schedules and use apps to adjust the settings whenever you want.
Smart power strips can automatically turn off power to connected devices when you aren’t using them.