Most homeowners have weather-stripped their doors to maximize climate control, and have switched out traditional incandescent light bulbs with eco-friendly CFL models. Short of installing double paned windows or making other costly home improvements, what more can you do to make your home “greener” without emptying your wallet?
Change filters often. Change air conditioning filters monthly to keep the system running at peak performance.
Dry bigger loads. Your dryer has more capacity than you think. Dry two or more loads at once so the dryer cools down and heats up less frequently. And clean out the lint filter often.
Check the fridge seal. Feel for cold air around your closed refrigerator door to be sure the seal is in good condition.
Adjust stove top cooking. Avoid wasting heat by matching up your pot/pan size to the correct burner.
Unplug battery chargers. Many chargers continue to draw power even when not connected to a device, so unplug yours after charging.
Use a laptop. They use less energy than your desktop computer, so use them instead when you can.
Reduce hot water consumption. Install low-flow, aerating faucets and shower heads. Select a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
Choose drought-tolerant plants. Any number of plants and ground covers can add greenery to a yard without gulping lots of water – including clover, certain breeds of grass like Bermuda and Zoysia, and edible plants like herbs and strawberries. (Note: you may want to put in some type of wood or brick border to contain groundcovers or plants in the area you want them to stay in.)