Owning a home is a satisfying accomplishment, but between the mortgage, taxes, electricity, water, and cable, it can also be expensive. So, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to actually save $500 every year just by making some small changes? We thought so, which is why we’ve outlined eight easy steps for saving money by being green:
1. Strip down. The biggest energy (and money) wasters in your home are the windows and doors because of the heat they let out and the cool air they let in, and vice versa depending on the season. By weather stripping windows and doors – aka sealing air leaks – you can save $160 each year in heating and cooling costs!
2. Cool it. Using the cold water setting on your washing machine can save you $124 in electricity a year because your appliance does not need to use extra energy to heat the water. And if you take a look at the labels in some of your favorite clothes, you’ll see that cold is the preferred wash temperature for many of them, especially dark colors and delicate fabrics that can fade and deteriorate quickly if washed in warmer water.
3. Clean it out. If you’re not satisfied with the way your laundry is drying, don’t blame the clothes dryer just yet. A clogged lint trap could be the culprit. Cleaning it after each use will not only put the fluff back in your towels, but it can also save $8 per year on your energy bill.
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4. Take it from the top. It might be hard to believe, but there are even ways to be more sustainable and save money while in the shower! Upgrade to a high-efficiency shower head and save up to $35 a year.
5. Let there be (LED) light. Replacing your existing light bulbs with LEDs can save you up to $15 a year. Walmart has slowly been introducing LED lighting throughout stores over the past few years, so join us and make the switch – it’s such an easy one. Be aware that the up-front costs is more than conventional bulbs, but it pays off over time.
6. Get smart. You may already use power strips that let you plug in several different appliances or gadgets into the same outlet. The problem is that those strips push out power to all of your gadgets, even when they are powered off. Smart power strips actually help reduce your power usage by shutting down power to products that go into standby mode. And buying one for your home can save up to $17 a year.
7. Keep steady pressure. Don’t forget the garage when thinking about greening your home. Performing regular maintenance on our cars is the best way to keep them running in an efficient way. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure the tire pressure is always consistent. Tires that wear evenly actually last longer – and can postpone the need for repair or replacement. It can also save you up to $75 each year.
8. Change your tires. Switching to low resistance rolling tires can help you save an additional $100 a year. These type of tires provide the most fuel efficiency and the investment will prove to be a wise one over the year.
Start by adopting any one of these tips and you can feel good with the effect on your bank balance and the environment.
What tricks do you have for saving money around the house?
A version of this page also appears on Walmart’s blog, “The Green Room.”