Mark StubbsGOING GREEN means living in a way that’s friendly to the planet, but it also means keeping a little “green” in your pocket by living efficiently. Next time you need to replace an appliance or other home product, consider an Eco-friendly choice. Here are some suggestions for going green at home:

When it’s time to replace windows, go with double- or triple-pane glass. Those models cost more than single-pane windows, but they prevent your heated or cooled air from leaking outside, so you’ll save money on your energy bills.

When replacing major appliances, it pays to buy those that are Energy Star certified. These models are significantly more efficient than others, so they cost less to operate.

Buy appliances with energy-saver options. New dishwashers and washing machines, for example, use less water than older models and let you customize load size and water temperature settings. Turn off your dishwasher’s heated drying cycle and choose a clothes dryer that automatically shuts off when it senses clothes are dry.

Resist the temptation to use your spare freezer or refrigerator in the garage, where the extreme heat and cold will force it to work so hard it will send your energy bills soaring.

Upgrade lighting fixtures to LED models or at least change out all your light bulbs to LEDs. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned an Energy Star rating, you can save $45 each year.

Install and use a programmable thermostat for your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system. New smart thermostats learn your home’s temperature patterns and automatically adjust accordingly. They can also be controlled remotely through a smartphone and other devices.

If your HVAC system is more than 10 years old or you are making frequent repairs, be proactive and replace it. Replacing an old, inefficient system with an Energy Star-rated model can save you about $200 per year on your utility bills plus make your house far more comfortable.



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