There are several methods used to save money at home by being green. The best strategies include the use of energy efficient products and materials. Some methods for saving energy require that you invest in products that could be initially expensive. The strategies listed on this page are geared towards approaches that are free or inexpensive, easy to implement, and will save you money on your utility bills.

These strategies are as follows:

Purchase efficient light bulbs: If you have incandescent bulbs in your home, replace them immediately with compact fluorescent bulbs or CFL’s. They use 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 15 times longer. Your return on investment for replacing these bulbs is typically less than a year. Using this tool will help you estimate your lighting energy savings and simple payback from buying CFL’s.

Seal air leaks: Seal air leaks through doors, walls and windows to stop air infiltration from coming in your home. Air infiltration will make your heating and air conditioning equipment work harder than it is supposed to. You can think of any air leaks in your home as money leaks in your wallet, where the amount of leaks is directly related to an increase in your energy bills.

To seal air leaks you can use silicone caulk, foam or rubber. Spray foam or silicone caulk to cover cracks in walls and roofs, and use weather-stripping for doors and windows. They are both inexpensive and simple to do measures of energy conservation.

Put your curtains to good use: Place curtains or blinds over all windows in your home. During the winter, keep the curtains open over the eastern facing windows so that the early morning sun heats up your home and your furnace work less to keep your home warm. During the summer, close the curtains over the western facing windows to block out the heat from the afternoon sun and your air conditioner works less to keep your home cool.

Washing and drying: Use only cold water to wash your clothes. There are certain laundry detergents that are specifically design to be used with cold water. Always do a full load of laundry when washing and use a clothesline to dry your clothes instead of the dryer.

Ceiling fans: Take advantage of ceiling fans whenever possible. Ceiling fans use 10% of the energy that window air conditioning units use. If you feel comfortable enough in a room with ceiling fans, leave the air conditioner off.

Utility company rebates: Check with your local utility company if they offer rebates for purchasing energy efficient equipment. You may get rebates for purchasing Energy Star appliances or for purchasing energy efficient furnaces and central air conditioning systems. In additional to local utility rebates, there are federal tax credits and rebates available for buying geothermal heat pumps and solar power systems.

You can save a lot of money at home by using the simple concepts listed above, and you’d be surprised at the amount money saved from your utility bills when you get into the habit of applying them.