Here at BLINQ, being green is more than just a part of our company mission – it’s something we live by! If you’ve ever wondered how to go green at home during the colder months, you’ve come to the right place.
We reached out to our colleagues to see what they’ve been doing to go green at home this winter. Between their tried and tested suggestions and some research of our own, we came up with a list of five practical tips for how to go green at home this season.
1. Close the vents in rooms you don’t use
“In lesser used rooms, like the guest room or laundry room, I always close the vents at the beginning of the season so that heat isn’t wasted there. I also make it a point to close doors in rooms that I’m using, so heat doesn’t have a chance escape. – Sherry, BLINQ Team
Closing the vents in less utilized rooms such as guest rooms or storage rooms is an easy way to go green at home during the chillier months. This small adjustment helps efficiently redirect air (and heat) to the rooms where you spend most of your time, keeping you warm, and your heating bill low. Best of all, it only takes a second and doesn’t cost a dime!
2. Wrap windows and look for air leaks
“When I moved to DC, it was my first time living in a colder climate, and I shared an old, poorly insulated rowhouse with two other roommates. One of my roommates is a winter pro having lived in Boston and Toronto, so she suggested the cellophane trick. I feel a difference standing next to our covered windows, and it makes our downstairs living room less chilly.” – Kelsey, BLINQ Team
It’s common for cold drafts of air to make their way inside during the colder months, especially in older homes with single pane windows. A good solution is covering your windows with a layer of film — it adds insulation and minimizes the amount of cold air that can get in. You can buy a winter insulation kit at your local hardware store, or better yet, use that leftover bubble wrap from the holidays to cover your windows. Don’t forget to look for leaks in other parts of your home like floors, doors, recessed lighting, and unfinished cabinets. Anywhere you can block cold air from entering, the better chance you have of reducing your winter energy bill.
3. Use a space heater
“I received a space heater as a Christmas gift one year, and now can’t live without it! I love the fact that I can move it into whatever room I am spending time in. It’s allowed me to turn my thermostat down, save energy, and stay warm.” – Emily, BLINQ Team
Smaller, single floor homes can save energy by using a space heater instead of a central heating system. A space heater is a portable heating unit that generally runs on electricity and serves as an instant source of heat. Similar to closing vents in rooms you don’t utilize, using a space heater is a great way to go green at home during the winter as it lets you heat only the rooms you spend time in. Do make sure to buy a space heater with the proper safety features, including auto-shutoff when it is tipped over or when the unit overheats. And, of course, never leave it on while unattended.
4. Pull out that humidifier
“I’m absolutely obsessed with the humidifier I bought myself. Not only does it make my home more comfortable, it helps keep my skin from drying out and I sleep better whenever I use it.” – Colleen, BLINQ Team
As you think about how to go green at home, a humidifier may not be something that initially comes to mind. However, humidifiers are key to keeping the air in your home comfortable while the heater is running. Additionally, the moist air created by a humidifier holds heat in better — allowing you to turn your thermostat down to a lower setting. So if you want to alleviate your home’s dry air, and save energy, a humidifier may be the perfect solution to help you go green at home this season!
5. Reduce your water temperature
“Reducing the water temperature in your home is a great way to save energy that’s often overlooked. It’s a quick and easy adjustment, and I promise you won’t miss the extra, extra hot water! Not to mention you’ll save yourself from any unnecessary irritation that hot water can cause to your skin. All in all, a win for you, and your energy bill.” – Ann, BLINQ Team
Lowing your water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can make a substantial impact on your energy consumption. The US Department of Energy estimates that turning down your water heater by just those 20 degrees can save you up to $60 each year. Not bad, considering there’s no need to burn your hands while doing dishes, and 120 degrees is still plenty hot for showers.
So, if you’ve ever wondered how to go green at home, you’ll be happy to know it doesn’t require wearing your winter coat indoors (though we do advise a sweater and a comfy pair of slippers!). A few simple tricks can really help concentrate the heat in your space, allowing you to save money on your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint.
Still have questions about how to go green at home? Be sure to leave your comments or questions below. And for even more ways to go green, check out these tips to improve your eco-friendliness!