It's easy being green: 3 energy efficient home updates

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It's not easy being green. Or is it? Did you know that you don't have to spend so much money on your...

It's not easy being green. Or is it? Did you know that you don't have to spend so much money on your monthly utility bills and you can live more responsibly at the same time? From solar energy that dramatically cuts down on your heating and cooling bills to reducing your water usage with new innovations in green plumbing, your home is full of opportunities to live in a more energy efficient way, cut down on costs, and reduce your footprint on the environment.

Convert to solar energy. The sun comes up every day, so why not harness it to run your home more energy efficiently? According to Alex Bardi of Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, Atlanta is an optimal location for converting your home to solar power. See, that crazy heat is good for something! Just keep in mind that you will spend money upfront to have solar panels installed; but over time, your monthly heating and cooling bills will plummet. Bardi notes another way to employ solar power in the home: "Solar water heaters have also seen an increase in popularity [as] tax credits and rebates [make them] a viable and more green conscience solution for homeowners."

Reduce water use. There are tons of places in your home where your water use can be cut down. For instance, replace your toilet with one that uses less water to flush. Install a tankless water heater that, as Bardi points out, heats water only as needed. Makes sense, huh? Another option that is gaining popularity in the Atlanta area is Grey Water Systems. Bardi notes, "Although there is a considerable upfront investment when considering a Grey Water System, the ability to reutilize grey water by means of collection and sterilization for use in irrigation or for use as flushing water is an attractive solution for many consumers that want to be environmentally responsible." Talk to your plumbing specialist to learn more about this energy efficient option.

Make small changes. Even little tweaks will cut down on your monthly costs and help you reduce your environmental footprint. Bardi recommends putting thermal blankets on your hot water heater and pipes to conserve hot water. Consider retasking rain water to water your yard or even wash your car. Have a recirculation pump installed to deliver hot water to your fixtures immediately and cut down on wasteful water use.

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