Green Up Your Home

Green Up Your Home

Incorporating Energy Efficient Practices into an Existing House

Here at Green Key Neighborhoods we are in the business of building energy efficient, Green Built Homes.  We also support those who buy and restore existing houses – after all, one of the greenest, most environmentally friendly practices is reusing an item, whether it be a home or as simple as a piece of clothing.  

Here are ten ways to improve the environment of your existing home:

  1. Don’t have the money to install constant exhaust fans or an energy efficient HVAC system?  No problem. Try using a box fan with a HEPA filter secured to the front for filtering indoor air.  It may not look pretty but having the ability to purify your indoor air will be well worth the time it took to purchase the filter and attach to the box fan using simply….tape.  Check out this article for instructions on building your diy indoor air purifier.  Cost: $
  2. For those of us that live in homes over the age of 50, there is a real good chance the home is sans AC.  Try installing a mini split heating and cooling system in the most lived in areas of the home. These small units are energy efficient, quiet, and very effective at heating and cooling.  Consult with a local HVAC specialist about practical options for your home. Cost: $$$
  3. Change out all light bulbs with LED bulbs.  Cost: $$
  4. Bring the outdoors in by using house plants for air filtration.  They not only help clean the air very quietly (and you never have to change their filters), but they also look pretty.  It’s a win-win for everyone! Cost: $
  5. Replace old water heaters with new energy efficient units.  Cost:  $$$
  6. If replacing the water heater is not realistic for you, you can still make your water system more efficient by insulating plumbing pipes and by turning the setting on the water heater down to 120 degrees F from the standard 140 degrees.  This will save money and energy. Cost: $
  7. Unplug unused electronics.  Be especially sure to unplug all chargers and power strips when not being used to avoid energy phantom.  Cost: nothing
  8. Programmable thermostats are where it’s at!  Gain control of temperature settings in the home when you are there and away.  There are a variety on the market that can be easily installed by anyone. Refer to the Energystar guidelines for deciding which one is best for you.  Cost: $$
  9. Seal doors with weather stripping around the door jam for keeping unwanted drafts at bay.  Cost: $
  10. Use rugs and curtains.  Does your older home tend to leak air?  If so, an easy, low cost and fun way to prevent drafts are to hang curtains around windows and use rugs.  This will add a small barrier to trap warm or cool air in depending on the season. Cost:  $$

BONUS TIP:  Get an energy audit.  An experienced professional will perform an evaluation of your home’s current energy use. The report will give you a direction to go in for making the home more energy efficient.  Cost: $$


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