A healthy and efficient home is vital for anyone looking to maintain comfort while also staying within budget. Simple improvements can ensure the longevity of your home and the well-being of your family. Here are five simple ways you can reduce your energy bills and improve the overall health of your home.
UV Rays Aren’t Just At the Beach
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They can affect you inside your home as well. UVA window filters, which come in film sheets you can easily install, can reduce window glare by up to 50 percent and, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, block 100 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays. In addition to the health benefits, window filters can reduce A/C and heating bills.
Image via Flickr by Marufish
Utilizing the power of sunlight through solar energy is a great way to reduce both your monthly electricity bills and your carbon footprint. Solar panels work by allowing particles of light, known as photons, to remove electrons from atoms. This process ultimately creates a flow of electricity. While going solar is an investment, modules come in different sizes and vary in cost.
Reduce Water Usage
To some, the word “reduction” means sacrifice, but it doesn’t have to. Reducing water usage can be done through a variety of ways, including installing energy-efficient toilets and tankless water heaters. While you may need to involve a plumber for the bigger projects, smaller swaps such as replacing regular fixtures with low-flow showerheads and faucets can be accomplished with the aid of online tutorials.
Low-flow systems work by reducing the amount of water pushed through the fixture in a given amount of time. Normal 80 pounds per square inch (PSI) showerheads will deliver five to eight gallons per minute (GPM). Low-flow showerheads will deliver around two-and-a-half GPM at 80 PSI. The average family of four saves as much as 20,000 gallons of water a year by using low-flow systems, according to the EPA.
Don’t Let Allergens Invade
Spring has sprung, and we all know the effect seasonal allergies can have on our respiratory health. In addition to pollen and other allergens leaking in through windows and doors, indoor irritants found in carpeting, draperies, and other fabrics can worsen asthma and allergy symptoms. Filters that specifically weed out irritants can easily be installed in your home’s pre-existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Beware of Unseen Hazards
According to the EPA, about one in every fifteen homes has radon levels that should be reduced. Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that you can neither see nor smell. Over time, exposure to radon can cause lung cancer, the same way smoking can. Testing is the only way to identify radon exposure. Luckily, radon testing kits are fairly inexpensive and easy to use.
A healthy, efficient home is vital for the comfort and well-being of any family. Improvements don’t have to be taxing and cumbersome; they can be simple and cost-effective while still managing to make a big difference.