Five Earth-Friendly Ways to Improve Your Home in 2018

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The New Year is here and it's time for your home to make some resolutions. While making resolutions for yourself is always a good motivator, 2018 could also be the year your house becomes the best version of itself you always knew it could be. Getting started is the hardest part, so kick off with some small stuff below and work up to some future bigger projects.

How Going Green Can Save You Money

Light Up Your Life

LED light bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer. LEDs emit almost no heat and are now available in a variety of lighting products. Prices have dropped drastically in the last few years, making them a cost-effective way to brighten things up.

The bigger project: Install a tube light for natural lighting in a closet or stairwell.

Get in Hot Water

Insulating your water pipes will increase their thermal efficiency, lowering the cost of heating water. Inexpensive foam tubing is available at most hardware stores in sizes to fit standard pipes.

The bigger project: On-demand water heaters can be installed at individual faucets. They may be gas-fired or electric, providing 2-5 gallons of water per minute. Homes using on-demand hot water can expect 25-50 percent energy savings, compared to conventional tank heaters.

Slow the Flow

Installing low flow toilets and water restricting valves or washers in faucets will lower your water consumption considerably. Parts are inexpensive and readily available at most hardware stores.

The bigger project: Install gutters and drain systems to catch rainwater for home use in the garden.

Keep Your Cool 

A programmable thermostat can adjust the temperature for maximum heating and cooling efficiency, even when you aren't home, saving up to $180 per year. They range in price from under $100 to $400, depending on the scope of operation. Smart thermostats are slightly more expensive and may be operated remotely from your phone or computer.

The bigger project: Install a new HVAC unit. New technology in refrigeration and heating make recent models super-efficient and cost-effective.

Stay Safe

A security system may be as simple as motion detecting lights or part of a complex system to alert you in the event of fire, flooding, carbon monoxide leaks, break-ins, break-outs, or medical emergencies. Having a security system may drop homeowner’s insurance rates by as much as 20 percent. ADT offers home alarm system monitoring that does not require a landline, making them a great investment for a modern homeowner.

With a little resolution, your home will be back in shape in no time!

 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

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