Did you know the average U.S. household uses about 32 kilowatt hours of electricity and 400 gallons of water a day? It sounds kind of crazy, but it’s true. Homeowners are making small changes in their homes to promote eco-friendly practices. By making the effort to conserve power and water in your home, you can help save natural resources – something you will start to notice in your monthly energy bills.

You don’t have to make extreme changes to your home to make it more eco-friendly. There are many green technologies that can take as little as a weekend to put together.  There are also more expensive projects that can take a longer time to put together if you are looking to make a larger impact. Take a look at some of the technologies that can make your home eco-friendly:

Rain Barrels

Outdoor water use, such as watering your grass and garden, is a huge factor in a home’s overall water usage. By installing a rain barrel or two in your yard, you can eliminate that problem. A rain barrel is a large barrel with a spigot at the bottom that you can purchase from any hardware store or make yourself.  The best practice is to set it up under your gutter’s downspout so when the rain funnels off the roof it will go right in your barrel.  As water collects, you can use that water for your garden and yard.

Solar Panels

You can install solar panels on your own, or you can hire a contractor. If you are worried solar panels may be an eyesore, you can mount them on your roof or to a stand in your backyard. There are also solar shingles available that can blend into your existing roof.  Replacing a portion of your roof shingles with new solar roofing shingles that tie into your homes electricity system can generate a portion or all of your power. What

Dual Flush Toilet

Your toilet can actually use more water than any other fixture in your house. Depending on how old your toilet is, it can use as much as 27% of the water in your home. You can upgrade your toilet, or get a dual flush toilet. A dual flush toilet has two options, one for liquid waste and one for solid. Less water is used to flush liquids, and dual flush toilets are actually more efficient in handling solid waste than a conventional toilet.

Smart Power Strips

Things you keep plugged into the wall while they are in the off position, such as the television, DVD player and video game systems, keep using energy even in standby mode. Smart power strips changed the game. Now, electronics can remain plugged in, and with the flip of a switch on the power strip to off, energy will be conserved.

Programmable Thermostat

With a programmable thermostat, you don’t have to remember to change your settings to ensure you aren’t cooling or heating an empty house. Tell your system when to adjust the temperature, depending on your schedule, and it does all of the work for you. Depending on your thermostat’s wiring and your comfort level, you can install your new thermostat yourself or get an electrician to swap your old one out professionally. Remember to turn the power off at the breaker before messing with your thermostat!

Installing some or all of these green technologies, you can conserve energy and save some money on bills all while being eco-friendly.

If you are looking for a home to call yours, contact a member of the Housing Buzz team. We would be happy to get you in touch with a dedicated loan officer. Stay tuned for more ways you can #GoGreenWithUHM.