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Go Green at Home without Going Broke

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By Marshall Loeb

RISMEDIA, Sept. 19, 2007-(MarketWatch)-Over 90% of registered voters would be willing to pay $5,000 more for a home that’s easier on the environment, according to a new poll by the American Institute of Architects. But they may not have to.

In fact, making your home more energy efficient can actually save you money, says Jane Bennett Clark, an editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Clark suggests 10 simple ways to go green without going broke:

1.) Insulate your water heater. If it was built before 2004, you can save as much as 10% on your annual water-heating bill by wrapping the tank in an insulating fireproof blanket.
2.) Tune up your furnace. Getting your furnace serviced every two years not only reduces the amount of carbon dioxide it emits, it also cuts your heating bills by up to 10%.
3.) Lower the temperature. The Alliance to Save Energy estimates that you can take 5% off your heating bill for every degree you lower your home’s temperature during the cold season.
4.) Pad those pipes. You can cut heating costs just by insulating exposed hot water pipes in your home.
5.) Weatherstrip your doors. Putting weather-stripping around your front and back doors will net you around $30 a year in energy savings.
6.) Wash your clothes in cold. That uses 50 % less energy than washing them in hot water.
7.) Don’t use permanent press. Employing the regular setting instead of the permanent press setting on you washing machine will conserve five gallons of water per load.
8.) Watch your water flow. Save a gallon of water per minute when you’re doing the dishes by restricting the water flow to a stream the width of a straw. Save another two gallons by turning off the water when you brush your teeth for two minutes.
9.) Fix that leaking faucet. That constant drip, drip, drip isn’t just grating, it’s also wasting water — 2,700 gallons a year to be exact.
10.) Check your toilet tank. If you put a drop of food coloring into your toilet bowl and it doesn’t disappear, your tank is leaking, says Clark. Get it fixed and you can salvage 200 gallons of water a day.

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