There is much discussion today on going “green” and saving the environment. Many businesses, both commercial and industrial, are adopting systems and policies in order to comply with the demands of the government and the overall world community to create “green” buildings and environmentally friendly processes. Many of the things that are being done in the business world can also be adopted very easily to residential properties as well. I am always watching for ways to apply these technologies simply and cost effectively as a means of not only helping our environment, but also as a way to save some money. Here are a few ideas of simple ways that we can do our part:
If you live in an area with modest rainfall, devise a means for collecting the rainwater that normally comes off the roof and down the gutter by installing a water storage tank. This water can be used for cleaning around the outside of the home and also for watering the lawn, flowers and garden.
Install solar panels for collecting the sun’s energy and use it to power your home. This can be done very efficiently and relatively easily with the right tools and does not have to cost a lot of money. This can be a huge money saver.
Insulate your hot water heater. There are insulating jackets on the market which will allow you to “wrap” the hot water heater and prevent heat loss thereby saving the energy needed to maintain the hot water temperature.
If you have plans to do any kind of bathroom remodeling that involves getting into the walls and/or floor as well as piping changes, consider a heat exchanger for collecting wasted heat from the shower. There are simple heat exchangers designed exclusively for this purpose in residential bathrooms. The heat collected can be used to return heat to the hot water heater and reduce the energy needed to provide hot water in the home.
These are just four ways that you can do your part to help the environment and at the same time reduce your household utility costs. With the right research, you can easily come up with many other ways as well. Follow the lead of big business and find out the ways that they are accomplishing these goals and then scale it down to see if it makes sense both economically as well as efficiently. I will do my part to share techniques as I am able to uncover them.