It Is Easy Being Green (Especially Around the House!)
Kermit the Frog is usually a pretty credible source of information, but there’s one instance where he got it totally wrong: it actually is pretty easy being green, especially when it comes to reducing your home’s energy consumption. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can make every room in your home more energy efficient.
Improving Energy Efficiency in the Kitchen
For most homes, the kitchen is responsible for the lion’s share of the energy bill, but there are ways to make it less of an energy hog. To start, try using natural ventilation instead of running your range fan all the time. Keep your windows open while you’re cooking when the weather’s pleasant, and it will stay cool and odor-free naturally.
If you’re still running an ancient refrigerator, you may want to consider trading it in for a newer, EnergyStar-certified model. Modern refrigerators often use a fraction of the power consumed by their forerunners, and they’re usually better designed, as well. Ditto for your microwave, toaster oven, and dishwasher, too.
The Bathroom: How to Make It More Efficient
Getting natural light into the bathroom can be tricky; you want the warm ambiance, but you still want to feel a sense of privacy. Consider installing frosted glass windows, or opting for a window covering that lets light in without putting you on display. Top-down blinds in moisture-resistant faux wood are a smart choice. Skylights are another excellent addition, if your home’s construction and your budget will permit their installation.
If those hot showers are costing too much, you may want to double-check your water heater, just to make sure it’s still running at peak efficiency. Upgrading your water heater can be a sizable expense, but it’s one that may pay for itself rather quickly over time.
While you’re at it, take a look at your bathroom fixtures. Outdated fixtures may be charming to the eye, but they’re basically money down the drain, as they’re not nearly as efficient as modern faucets, toilets and shower heads.
How Energy Efficient Is Your Bedroom?
Your bedroom might not have as many appliances as your kitchen, but you can still find ways to save energy. First, make sure your furniture isn’t blocking your HVAC vents, and close your closet door, especially if your closet is on an exterior wall.
If you find yourself complaining of drafts during the winter, then it may be time to double-check the seals around all of your bedroom doors and windows.
In addition to changing out your bedroom light bulbs for more efficient models, consider painting your walls in a light color. Darker colors have a certain richness, but light walls make a room seem brighter, reducing the need for artificial lights.
Improving Living Room Energy Efficiency
If you’ve been thinking about ditching that old TV and getting a brand new one, here’s another pro to weigh: a new TV could very well be more energy efficient than your old one, even if it’s bigger in size. And remember, LCD televisions are among the most energy efficient. Also, consider cutting power to entertainment devices when they’re not in use. Gaming systems, cable boxes, and other electronics still draw current when plugged in, even if they’re not turned on.
Every Room Has the Potential to Be More Energy Efficient
There are certain tips that apply to every room in the home. Swapping out window treatments for more seasonally appropriate ones can help save on heating, cooling, and lighting expenses. Swapping out old-style light bulbs for newer LED bulbs can dramatically lower your electricity consumption.
You may also want to consider going solar. Solar arrays have become more efficient and less costly than they once were, and for most consumers, going solar actually offers substantial overall savings, especially for those who live in states where the government-sponsored rebates and incentives are significant.