Regardless of whether you own your home or not, there are dozens of simple home improvements you can do to save money. Plus, most of these home improvements not only help you save on monthly electricity, gas, water, heating, and cooling bills, but they also help save the environment. By being more conscious of where energy flows throughout your home, you’re taking a step toward lowering your carbon footprint on the planet.
As such, here are 5 simple home improvements to save money—and the planet.
5 home improvements to save money
1. Save on water to save money
As a homeowner, your monthly water bill can be a significant reoccurring cost. There are simple and easy ways to reduce your water usage and save money by doing so. If you are a renter or don’t have to pay the water bills, saving water is a good thing to start doing both for your future, if you become a homeowner, and for the planet.
Here are some easy ways to start saving water immediately:
- Fill a 20oz water bottle and place it in the back of your toilet. Every time you flush, you will save 20oz of water, which can add up very quickly.
- Ensure that you’re efficiently loading your dishwasher and only running it when it is 100% full. Or, put a small plastic tub in your sink and handwash your dishes to save on a dishwasher load and running too much water.
- Opt for a low-flow showerhead. According to government data, as stated in Business Insider, low-flow fixtures can reduce water consumption by at least 50% and save you about $145 every year.
2. Save on electricity bills through updated lighting
The average savings of upgrading your lighting to LED or smart light fixtures is approximately $75 a year, plus each bulb lasts longer and uses less energy, which is better for the environment. They’re also lights that can be controlled by automation, helping you save money by being more efficient in which rooms your lighting, for how long, and when. Every time you leave a room turn off the lights—it’s good practice regardless of whether you’re trying to save money or be more environmentally conscious.
3. Winterize your house to save on heating
Winterizing your home requires slightly more effort, but will pay off in the long run when you save on your heating, gas, and electricity bills. Go through your home and find the cold spots or drafts. Where is the heat escaping and cold coming in? By resealing and insulating those drafty, problem areas in your home, you will have an easier time keeping your precious, expensive heat inside. According to a Life Hacker article, Energy.gov states that simple caulking and weatherstripping could save you 30% on your energy bill.
4. Upgrade your energy suckers to be more efficient
The purpose of this article is, of course, to help you save money through simple home improvements. Therefore, it would be slightly contradictory of us to advise you to update all of your household appliances, such as your dishwasher, washer, dryer, and heating and cooling systems, to be more energy efficient and smart. However, as you need to replace them, opt for energy-efficient models help you save money and the planet.
There are things you can do to make your appliances more efficient right away. For example, use the cold water cycle for your laundry to save on hot-water costs. Only use your dishwasher when it’s full and use the economy function, if it has one.
5. Line dry your laundry for your wallet and the planet
Past generations were on to something when they hung their clothes out to dry in the breeze and sun. According to the Spruce’s Top 10 Reasons to Line Dry, the average U.S. household that abandoned their clothes dryer can save more than $200 per year on electric, natural gas, or propane gas bills. Not only does it save you money, but hanging your clothing to dry saves our environment—reducing the average household’s carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds a year.