Did you know that being environmentally conscious is also an easy way to put money in your pocket?
You can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption if you have an efficient home and use cleaner products. Consider a few, simple eco-improvements to reduce energy consumption and increase savings on your monthly energy bill:
Insulation: If your house is older, chances are the insulation doesn’t meet the new code requirements. An improperly insulated attic is a primary source of energy loss and results in your furnace and air conditioning units working harder than necessary. By topping up the existing attic insulation you can significantly reduce the amount of energy loss. A popular product for this DIY project is Roxul Comforbatt insulation. It is easy to install over existing attic insulation and can easily be cut to fit with a serrated blade or bread knife.
House appliances: Replacing your furnace, hot water tank, and air conditioning unit with highly efficient models is also a good way to lower your home’s energy use.
Windows: It’s usually obvious when it’s time for new windows. Replacing worn and drafty windows can also improve the comfort and overall look of your home. If you want to reap the greatest energy savings, request a custom brick-to-brick installation, because inserts can leave gaps, especially if placed in the old, inefficient jamb.
Landscape your home for energy efficiency. Plant a few tall, deciduous trees near your home to significantly reduce the amount of solar energy passing through windows and beating down on your roof. In fact, the right amount of shade in the right places can reduce cooling bills by 10 to 50 per cent.
The quick eco-list: Here are a few low-cost DIY projects you can tackle easily on your own for greater energy savings:
• Caulk around windows
• Add weather stripping to doors
• Install low-flow shower heads
• Put aerators on faucets
• Switch to energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs
• Change your furnace filter
• Set up a programmable thermostat
Scott McGillivray is the award-winning TV host of the hit series Income Property on HGTV Canada, a full-time real estate investor, contractor, author, and educator. Follow him on Twitter @smcgillivray.