Although industry is the major culprit, homes can contribute to the climate change crisis. In fact, 15.4 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from the residential sector, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s “Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2020” report, released in 2022.
While some eco-friendly improvements cost a lot, there are low-cost things to do — relatively quick and easy — to make your home more energy efficient and less wasteful. In fact, 68 percent of those surveyed in a recent Angi study spent under $5,000 in making their homes more green.
If you are looking to save energy, money and possibly the planet, consider these 10 simple, low-cost, eco-friendly home upgrades.
1. Power strips
Standby power is the juice consumed by appliances and electronics when they are plugged in but not actually in use. While it’s small, it adds up: Standby power accounts for $11.2 billion dollars in annual U.S. energy costs. By plugging devices into a power strip, which can cost under $20, you’ll have a single on/off feature that can control several at a time, ensuring your electronics are only consuming energy when you’re using them. (Just don’t use them to switch off computers or anything with a clock.)
2. Water filter
Purchasing water every week isn’t ideal, especially with U.S. landfills continuing to overflow with millions of discarded plastic bottles. A water filter is an eco-friendly upgrade that provides households with clean aqua to drink and use, reducing the debris. Easy-to-install faucet attachments cost under $50.
3. Steel door
A steel door can help you save on heating and cooling costs. Actually made of a steel skin with a polyurethane foam insulation core, it fits more snugly into the doorframe and keeps air from entering or exiting the home. And while they sound like something for a bank vault or jail cell, steel doors actually come in a range of colors and styles.
4. Window treatments
Adorning windows with blinds, shades or drapes can be viewed as more than a design statement. About 30 percent of a home’s heating energy is lost through bare windows in winter, making you turn up the thermostat; in warm weather, about 76 percent of sunlight that falls on standard glass enters to become heat, causing you to crank up the AC. Installing window treatments can conserve energy by blocking the warmth of the sun in summer, and trapping your home’s internally generated heat in winter. There are even special solar shades and blinds, starting around $150 per window, that allow only 5 percent of solar rays through.
Energy Star reports that glass windows without any type of …….