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What's Up Magazine

Reducing Your Home’s Carbon Footprint

Mar 28, 2016 02:15PM ● By Cate Reynolds
If a new home isn’t in your plans at the moment, there are still ways you can make a difference in the environment and save money as well. Here are several suggestions from

Install a programmable thermostat – The cost of $50 or less will save you at least that much on your utility bills within the first year.

Weather-stripping and caulking – For virtually no cost, you’ll reduce energy use by eliminating drafts and improving your own comfort.

Lighting – Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) save more than two-thirds the energy of a regular incandescent bulb. Each bulb can save $40 or more over its lifetime.

Heating and cooling – Keep your heating and cooling system(s) tuned, and when it’s time to replace them, choose those rated ENERGY STAR.

Insulation – Weather-stripping, caulking, and insulation work hand in hand to save energy, make your home quieter and more comfortable, and help you save money.

Water-conserving showerheads and toilets – Reduce water and heating costs in your bathroom by turning the faucet off when brushing or shaving, saving thousands of gallons of water a year.

Appliances – Pay attention to the total lifetime cost of your appliances, including how much energy they use. Look for the ENERGY STAR label and check out ratings on

Bigger isn’t always better – Choose the appropriately sized appliance or heating/cooling system for your needs.

Electronics – Again, ENERGY STAR will help you save money and your impact on the environment. Don’t forget to turn electronics off if you’re going away or not using an item for a while.

Windows – Once again, ENERGY STAR.

Solar – Reduce your energy load before installing solar panels to keep your costs down.