If you are trying to get into the green craze and become more environmentally conscious but have no real idea of where to start, here are twelve tips for an energy-efficient home that will help you to start saving money, energy and very importantly the environment.

Things You Will Need

A want to change.

Step 1

1. Make the most of the sun's warmth by installing a window where your house gets the most sun in winter times, to stay cool in summer, install awnings or blinds that block the high summer sun.

Step 2

2. If you live in country where it does not snow in winter and whenever the weather permits, use a clothes line instead of a dryer to dry your laundry. You will save money and help cut greenhouse gases by about three kilograms for every load of laundry.

Step 3

3. Make sure your home is well insulated; a properly insulated home can be up to 10°C warmer in winter and as much as 7°C cooler in summer.

Step 4

4. One of the simplest ways to save energy is to switch off appliances at the wall when you will not be using them for a few hours. When your appliance is on stand-by it can account for ten percent of a households' electrical bill.

Step 5

5. If you have central heating and an adjustable thermostat, try turning your heat down a fraction. You might not notice a large difference heat-wise but a reduction of only 1°C can cut bills by ten percent.

Step 6

6. Plug gaps around windows and doors and any other external openings using draught excluders or weather strips. Draught-proofing can cut household heat loss by up to twenty five percent in winter.

Step 7

7. Reduce heat loss by up to a third in winter by covering windows with heavily lined, close-fitting curtains and by closing pelmets.

Step 8

8. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). They might be a little more costly but the (CFLs) are much more efficient, creating an equivalent light at a significantly lower wattage – a 25 watt CFL is as bright as a 100 watt regular bulb. As a result, CFLs can last ten times as long and use eighty percent less energy.

Step 9

9. Select appliances that are both energy-efficient and the right size for your needs – a 284 litre fridge will use twenty percent more energy than a 210 litre fridge, even if they both have the same energy rating.

Step 10

10. If you have a choice between natural gas and conventional electricity, go with gas. Not only is natural gas normally cheaper, it produces a third the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity from coal-fired power stations.

Step 11

11. Make sure that your hot-water tank and pipes are properly insulated. In an average home, heating water accounts for more than a quarter the household energy bill; and as much as half of the total water-heating costs can be due to heat loss.

Step 12

12. Next time you change your hot-water system, consider buying an energy-efficient gas, solar or electric-heat pump unit. These systems cost more to purchase, but are much cheaper to run. They will save you money in the long term, and help reduce greenhouse gases.

Thank you for reading this article, I got most of the general information from a Reader's Digest book on earth-wise living and I hope these tips will help you on your way to becoming greener.

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