Making Your Home a Green Sanctuary This Summer
Depending on where you live, your energy bills may be substantially lower during the summer months than the winter months, but it is still important to maximize your energy efficiency and maintain a green lifestyle in warm weather. By making a few small changes in your life, you will actually be able to save money while protecting the planet. These six tips have been designed to help you go green, save money, and reduce your environmental impact immediately.
1. Assess Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
A professional energy efficiency expert will help you determine which areas of your home need the most improvement. These experts can give you advice about things like which windows to replace and whether or not to buy new appliances. You can make small and affordable improvements right away as you start to save money for larger improvements.
2. Maximize The Power of Your Windows
Your windows aren’t only there so you can keep track of your yard. They can be used to increase your home’s energy efficiency. In fact, they are one of the most important parts
in the battle against energy bills. If you live in an area where the temperature drops at night, you should turn off your cooling system and open the windows before you go to bed.
In the morning, you can close them and turn the cooling system back on. Ideally, you should set the thermostat to the highest temperature you can tolerate. The closer the thermostat is to the outdoor temperature, the cheaper it will be to run. During the day. you should ensure that you cover the windows with roller blinds, shades, or curtains in order to keep sunlight from heating up the air in your home.
3. Keep Hot Air Outside
By sealing cracks around doors and windows, you will be able to
keep hot air outside where it belongs. In addition, if you make sure that you cover your windows and patio doors with well insulated window panels or roller shades, they can be used for double duty: keeping sunlight out and ensuring no hot air leaks in.
4. Use A Fan
Ventilation fans effectively remove hot air from bathrooms and kitchens. Ceiling fans are a great way to move air around without spending a lot of money. You can even save additional funds by buying an EnergyStar fan or air conditioner. When fans are placed throughout your home, you will be able to decrease your thermostat setting by at least four degrees. When using fans, however, you should always remember than fans cool people and not rooms. Therefore, they should be turned off when you leave a room.
5. Clean and Garden the Old Fashioned Way
Most cleaning products are full of harmful chemicals that leach into the earth. Luckily, you can avoid this by using the same kinds of natural cleaners your grandmother used. Everyday household items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can get your home sparkling without being a health risk and an environmental faux pas. Clean like your grandmother did and you’ll be all the better for it.
A kitchen garden is another great way to reduce your environmental impact (and your grocery bills). Growing your own vegetables improves the world’s air quality and reduces your trips to the grocery store (which, in turn, saves you gas money and trims your carbon footprint). If you do not have room for a plot, you should consider joining a community garden in your neighborhood. For information on how to find a community garden near you, you can visit the American Community Gardens Association.
6. Mine Your Creativity
Going green does not have to be all about window sealant and thermostat settings. It can also be about finding your inner artist. This summer, you should spend some time looking at the waste that you create. If possible, you should see where you can reduce packaging, what you can reuse, and what you can go without. Check out the innovative ways that people reuse waste and try coming up with your own creative projects that save landfill space.