How to Make Your Home Greener Without Ripping it Apart

Those of us serious about going green would all love to turn our homes into the block’s best example of energy efficiency retaining architectural aesthetic. Unfortunately this requires a hefty upfront investment and weeks if not months of inconvenience. Which equates to headaches whether you’re an on-the-go professional or settling down parent.

Fortunately, there are ways to get a greener home that don’t involve the hassles of a remodel. More and more companies are catering to the needs of energy-conscious consumers by providing them with an array of ways to save with energy efficient products. No matter where you choose to find these tools to drive down utility costs, it’s important to get a sense of what you stand to save by installing a few simple upgrades around the house:

CFLs or LED Lighting
Academic research on CFLs and LEDs consistently shows they not only last for years – far longer than any old fashioned one you’ll ever buy – they consume far less energy to emit the same amount of illumination. Fitting every light fixture with one of these upgraded bulbs is an easy way to reduce energy usage at home without inciting much home repair ruckus.

Duct Sealing
According to Energy Star, 20 to 30 percent of the air moving through a home’s heating and cooling system is lost due to poorly sealed ductwork. Using duct tape for its namesake purpose – kind of strange to think how rare that happens. You might want to go ahead and invest a few more dollars into the fancy aluminum tape famous for keeping those air channels closed.

Flow Limiters
The average household uses about 260 gallons of water a day. Single men out there can probably cut that number in half – it’s still way more than you’d probably guess. Installing flow limiters on the faucets, toilets, and shower heads is one way to cut down on water usage annually. But don’t forget to monitor for leaks, which account for the overwhelming majority of wasted water.

Sealing External Cracks and Holes
This is probably the closest this list will come to remodeling for the sake of a greener home. No matter how new or nice your house, it’s a safe bet there are nasty air-sucking cracks somewhere on the outside. Depending on the specifics of your dwelling it may be smart to have a home energy audit performed, but we’d like to think a few hours on the weekend with a caulk gun can do the trick without bringing in the pros. OR you can buy the book Do It Yourself Home Energy Audits in the Green Guru Guide series.

Programmable Thermostat
In theory we ought to be able to set the central air temperature to a specific degree we’re most comfortable at, and be okay with it all year long. n truth our comfortable temperature varies depending on time, conditions outside, and our le el of physical activity.

Three variables which change too much for one particular setting to work. nstead of monkeying around with the thermostat, a costly habit, in est in a programmable model and learn your preference habits.

Use the latter to set the former. Less energy use will follow.
The goal for any guy looking to go green should be a home designed entirely with efficiency in mind. But it’s a long, costly, and bumpy road. Start off slow and small. Focus less on the big rehab projects for now if they seem too much to handle. There are a series of ways for you to consume significantly less energy without adding complexities to an already busy life.