Cheapest Eco-Friendly Upgrades To Make To Your Home
Your home is one of the most significant contributors to your carbon footprint. When you think about all of the different products in your home that use electricity, their energy efficiency isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind.
Fortunately, a few simple changes can make a big difference for both you and the environment. The following items rank high in terms of eco-friendliness because they require minor modification or budget but have a sizable impact on reducing climate change:
Smarten up your water heater
Water heaters produce the most significant amount of waste in your home because most models are outdated and lack energy efficiency in their design. Traditional water heaters store hot water in a tank and make it readily available by keeping it hot at all times, even when it’s not needed or used.
Smart water heater products like the PowerX Water Heater sensor use the water temperature readings to improve hot-water consumption patterns. This helps reduce the amount of energy required to heat water and only provides hot water when needed and otherwise stays turned off when not in use.
Homeowners can upgrade most traditional water heaters to smart water heaters by simply installing the PowerX sensors, to help with functions such as:
- Leakage protection
- Energy consumption monitoring
- Smart on-off switches
- Hot water circulation and pump regulation
Making this switch is one of the most accessible and eco-friendly updates you can make to your home. This update is budget-friendly, and the savings over time are sure to give you a return on your initial investment.
Install energy-efficient light bulbs
Switching your current lightbulbs to energy-efficient lightbulbs is another way homeowners can go green at home! Newer technologies like LED lights and smart lightbulbs can last up for years without losing efficacy while saving you money on your electricity bill too. Installing a few eco-friendly light bulbs can be done in minutes and will save you money over time. Here are a few facts about why you might consider making the switch:
- Energy-efficient light bulbs have made a significant impact on reducing the carbon footprint of homes in recent years.
- They produce less heat, use 30% to 80% less electricity than traditional incandescent light bulbs and last up to 20 times longer!
- The price for energy-efficient bulbs has come down significantly since they were introduced in the 1990s.
- The average lifespan is between 1,000 and 25,000 hours, depending on the make and model.
- Energy-efficient LED bulbs can cost anywhere from $0.50 to over $40 per bulb but have a much longer lifespan than other types.
This eco-friendly home upgrade is recommended for homeowners with any budget because it's cheap, quick, easy to do, and beneficial!
Replace your home's thermostat
Replacing a broken or outdated thermostat with an eco-friendly, programmable one is the eco-friendliest upgrade you can make to your home. Having a programmable system means you never have to leave your home uncomfortably warm for it to heat up before anyone arrives!
What could be easier?! Smart thermostats allow homeowners remote control over desired temperatures, making their homes more energy-efficient all at the same time. In addition, some programmable systems are as cheap as $30 and come equipped with all sorts of features like motion detection, so they only function when there's actual human activity happening inside the home.
Install eco-friendly curtains and blinds
Another easy, eco-friendly home upgrade that is cost-effective is changing your curtains to eco-friendly ones. Curtains can be a big power hog if they are left open during the day, trapping in heat and wasting electricity with heavy fabrics!
Changing to eco-light materials like bamboo or hemp will make a massive difference in how much energy you spend on heating or cooling your house. You’ll be grateful for the privacy and appreciative of the savings on your utility bills from eco-friendly curtains! There's also the bonus of being able to see out and not have others seeing into your home so easily.
For eco-friendliness and cost-effectiveness, these eco-friendly home upgrades are a solid choice.
Replace HVAC filters
The air in your home circulates through the furnace or boiler. If it's dirty, so is the air you're breathing - and that makes for a pretty stuffy indoor environment! Dirty filters clogged with dust bunnies can drastically reduce the lifespan of your heating/cooling system.
Dirty filters also force your HVAC unit to work harder to cool your space. Replacing old HVAC filters every month or two will help clear out dirt to keep everything running smoothly. This eco-friendly upgrade costs around $20-$100, depending on what make and model you have in your home.Swap Fixtures for WaterSense Products
Products marked with the WaterSense label meet the EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and are backed by independent, third-party certification.
Products bearing the WaterSense Label:
- Perform as well or better than their less efficient counterparts.
- Are 20 percent more water-efficient than average products in that category.
- Help with water conservation on a national level.
- Provide measurable water savings results.
Installing a water-efficient showerhead
If you've been considering making eco-friendly home upgrades to your bathroom, then this may be the perfect start! Water-efficient showerheads, also know as low-flow showerheads, come with a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute or less.
Traditional shower heads have a water flow of around 3.8 gallons per minute. By simply installing a water-efficient showerhead, homeowners could decrease water use by about half.
Low-flow showerheads do this by restricting water flow while still maintaining strong pressure, allowing users to feel like they are taking a regular shower.
To install one in your current setup, all you need is an adjustable wrench and some pliers. For just $30 or less, you’ll be able to save up to a gallon of water per minute with this eco-friendly upgrade.
Install low flow toilets & faucets
Low-flow toilets and faucets reduce the amount of water needed for everyday activities, which reduces the need to use as much energy as well.
They function much like water-efficient showerheads described above and reduce the amount of water wasted every time you wash your hands or use the bathroom.
Low-flow toilets and faucets are marked with the WaterSense label and can be found in most hardware stores. Products marked with the WaterSense label meet the EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and are backed by independent, third-party certification.
Adding eco-friendly plants to your home
The cost of eco-friendly plants varies depending on what type of plant you buy, but they are usually fairly inexpensive - no need to break the bank. You can't go wrong with a few houseplants! They help purify the air by removing toxins from the atmosphere like benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene. They’re also aesthetically pleasing for humans and pets because they provide color in whichever room you choose to place them.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products
Chemicals are not suitable for indoor spaces or eco-friendly! Replacing harsh chemicals like bleach with eco-friendly alternatives prevents damage to our health and our environment. Eco-friendly cleaners come in a variety of scents, too, so it's not just all about avoiding harmful toxins - you're also getting fragrance into your home as well! And because they don't contain those dangerous chemicals, these eco-friendly household hacks can be disposed of without worry.
Use eco-friendly household products
Many people are making the switch and looking for more eco-friendly household products. This includes things like soap, dishwasher detergent, toiletries, and even your toothpaste! Why? These products make it into our water systems and affect our health, faucets, and other appliances. There are many options for all of these items now - it's never been easier to make the switch. Luckily they're just as effective (if not more!) than regular versions, too—no need to worry about them falling short on performance. The cost varies across different brands but is typically cheaper when compared with environmentally unfriendly alternatives.
In conclusion, making small changes can make a significant difference. Smartening your water heater, installing eco-friendly light bulbs, eco-curtains, and replacing HVAC filters every month or two are all small but effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint while saving money. These eco-friendly upgrades are relatively easy to do with minimal effort and can be adjusted to fit any budget.
We hope these tips have inspired you to begin making minor eco-friendly updates at home.