Earth Day is tomorrow, and we are ready to celebrate!
If you’re unsure how to celebrate Earth Day, we’ve got a list of impactful ways to help you save money and our planet without leaving home. Even better, you can use these tips to tap into the power of your home budget and help Mother Earth at the same time, giving you a reason to celebrate all year long!
1. Install environmentally friendly lighting
If every US homeowner switched to LED lights in the next 20 years, Americans would save $250 billion in energy costs, cut electricity consumption by almost 50%, and prevent 1,800 million metric tons of carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere, according to Energy.gov.
What could this mean for your household? By switching to LED lighting, you can consume 75% less energy and help your home lighting last up to 25 times longer, reducing your home energy costs of up to 80 percent! Sounds like a great deal, right?
While LED lighting may not always feel cost-effective up front, as soon as you replace your incandescent lights, the savings begin! Plus, this small, environmentally friendly step helps save the planet by preventing mercury found in traditional light bulbs from entering our landfills.
Get more ways to maximize your household’s energy budget with a DIY home energy assessment.
2. Practice regular furnace maintenance
An inefficient furnace can hurt your home budget—and the planet. Follow the four C’s once every 3 months and help keep your budget intact while positively impacting the planet.
- Change your furnace filters
- Clean your unit regularly
- Check for good working condition
- (Call a professional, if needed)
According to Energy.gov, older furnaces range in efficiency from 56%-70%, but today’s models can reach efficiency as high as a whopping 98.5%. By simply upgrading to a newer furnace, you’ll not only cut your home heating costs by as much as $85 a year—you can remove up to 3,000 pounds of carbon monoxide emissions from your gas furnace’s output (or 5,000 tons for an oil furnace)!
For best results, bookmark our guide on maintaining your gas appliances so they stay efficient and in great shape.
3. Check for leaks, cracks, or gaps in home insulation
Window leaks, poor insulation, and gaps in your home’s doors, walls, and vents can break any homeowner’s budget. Why? As you heat and cool your home, these openings serve as a two-way street for climate-controlled air to get out and outside air to come in.
At least once a year, you should inspect all your windows, doors, baseboards, and walls for trouble spots that could be driving up energy costs. This once-over may help you discover leaks and gaps that can be solved with a simple caulking, or by installing weatherstrip installation on your doors and windows. Don’t forget to check your garage, too!
Updating your home’s insulation is not complete without paying special attention to your attic and the areas around your ducts and vents. Once your home has been fully sealed and insulated, you can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs, contributing to 11% in energy savings overall, according to the EPA.
Is the air circulating in your home as clean as it gets? Visit our guide on improving your air quality with furnace humidifier maintenance to find out.
4. Maintain your home plumbing
Plumbing leaks are notorious for costing homeowners big bucks in water bills and repairs—especially since they can go unnoticed for months, causing needless water waste. In fact, a family of four can use up to 16,000 excess gallons of water annually just by having leaky toilets!
Use this EPA-recommended home plumbing inspection checklist to save around 10% on your water bill and over 90 gallons of water a day!
- Stop household leaks
- Replace old toilets
- Replace old washing machines
- Invest in smart plumbing products
- Manage and monitor your sprinkler system
On Earth Day and every day, these tools can help you and your household stretch your budget further while making the planet a better place to live.