Everyone across the world seems to be going green — from apartments in Denver, Colorado to homes in New York City — but what does it really mean? Your Dictionary defines the term as “making more environmentally friendly decisions such as to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’.”
And going green is a beneficial concept for many. You might be saving money for a down payment on your first home; or, working through the rent vs. own debate while trying to finalize a serious purchase decision. But no matter your situation, going green will benefit you, your place of living and the environment.
Check out some great ideas to save energy and of course, money.
According to numerous studies, one tiny degree can be worth almost a three percent savings on your energy bill. If your electric heating or cooling bill is $300 per month, turning the thermostat up or down three degrees can save you almost 10 bucks per month.
Thinking of buying that low EER A/C window unit for only $150? Think again, because spending a little bit more on highly energy efficient appliances can quickly pay off. And try this tip from energy.gov:
“Set your air conditioner’s thermostat as high as is comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner; it will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.”
Ditch the Extra Fridge
An old 1990 era freezer/fridge can be costing you almost $300 per year to operate! If you really need to keep all of that beer cold, get a new one that will only set you back around $90 per year in energy costs.
If you can feel a hot breeze in the summer or if cold air slices through your closed windows during the winter, your heating and cooling dollars are literally going out the window. If you can’t afford to replace them, check out a temporary fix like plastic indoor window coverings. Also, remember that there are rebates available from many governmental agencies that can help you with energy saving products.
Do your research, and start with a smart thermostat that you can control from your phone. Turning your thermostat up to 80 before you leave work and then turning it down when you come home is the manual way to save heating and cooling costs, but a smart thermostat will do this for you.
howstuffworks.com explains this concept, and check out these fascinating study results:
“Also called phantom energy, phantom load, standby power, idle current and vampire power, phantom power is the energy used by appliances and electronics when they are turned off but still plugged in to a power outlet [source: Energy Star]. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the average home contains 40 products constantly drawing power. Individually, the electricity flowing to a TV that’s been turned off or a coffeemaker programmed to brew in the morning is extremely small, but together, these sleeping devices may account for as much as 10 percent of household energy use [source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory].”
So, 10 percent of your energy bill is due to those little green lights? You could save 40 bucks a month by shutting them down if your normal bill is close to $400!
Going green really means being sensible. Get rid of old appliances, seal cracks in walls and windows, only buy high EER replacement A/C and heating units, and turn off stuff you’re not using. Add a smart thermostat to the mix and you will be on the way to saving close to $100 per month.