We all look for ways to save money where we can, without compromising on comfort. Some money-saving options yield an immediate return, while others pay you back over time. Whether you’ve already built your log or timber home or are just getting started, here are a few green living tips for how you can maximize your long-term savings.
Green Living Tips: LED Bulbs
This one is fairly obvious, but it is also one of our favorites. Even just a few years ago, the cost of LED light bulbs was rather prohibitive to the average consumer. However, as technology has advanced and their popularity has grown, LED light bulbs are very affordable. They use significantly less energy than traditional incandescents (and even less than CFLs), produce minimal heat, and last a very long time.
For comparison, let’s look at the overall cost between incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs. To keep a 60W incandescent light burning for 25,000 hours, it will require approximately 21 bulbs and use roughly $180 in electricity. To keep a CFL with the same light output going for the same amount of time, it will require three bulbs and roughly $42 in electricity. An LED, on the other hand, will only require one bulb and $38 in electricity.
Not only will using LED bulbs reduce your energy costs, but it will virtually eliminate the time and hassle of replacing burned-out bulbs in the future.
Green Living Tips: Outdoor Clothesline
In today’s world of technology and convenience, it can seem almost counter-intuitive to go “old school” with something as simple as laundry. But, we’re all for enjoying the great outdoors, so what could be the downside of spending a little more time outside?
Drying your clothes outside can be as simple as buying a popup clothes rack for the deck or as involved as digging holes, constructing posts, and stringing up lines in the backyard. But, whichever option you may choose to go with, the benefits are real. Not only will you be adding a little more Vitamin D to your life, but the energy savings of not running a dryer as much (or at all) during the warmer months can show a marked difference in your electric bill. This is a great option to dry out lake gear, suits and towels after a long day on the water.
While some money-saving tips still cost a little something going forward, using Mother Nature to dry your clothes costs nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. It’s kind of like finding money in an old coat pocket, and who doesn’t like that?
Green Living Tips : Upgraded Shower Head
The shower is sacred ground. It is a private sanctuary in which you can escape from the world. And let’s not forget the impromptu karaoke sessions you’ve got going on in there. (It’s okay, it’s a known fact that everyone sings in the shower.) But, what if you could sing your heart out and save money at the same time?
The key to enjoying a good shower is not so much the volume of water raining down on you but rather the pressure at which it comes out. Installing an energy-efficient or variable-flow shower head can reduce the volume of water while increasing the pressure, which puts less of a strain on your well pump and hot water heater. So, in a way, you’re actually making money from all that singing. (Watch out, Nashville, here we come!)
Green Living Tips: Programmable Thermostat
Having to manually change the temperature to save on energy can be a drag, and chances are that you will end up forgetting to do it. Programmable thermostats can be very inexpensive for a basic model, but the savings are no less real. With a programmable thermostat, you can lower energy consumption during the night or set it to conserve energy while you are away while making sure that the temperature is to your liking by the time you return. If your log or timber home serves as a weekend retreat, this is a fantastic option for you!
If you want to get a little fancier, there are many wifi-enabled thermostat controllers on the market as well. These models can be set on the device itself or from your phone, both at home and remotely when you are away. And, remember those voice-activated assistants we talked about? Many of the wifi thermostats can be integrated with these devices, so changing the temperature can be as easy as simply speaking!
Green Living Tips: Motion-Sensing Light Switches
One of the cardinal rules of home energy savings is to turn lights off when you leave a room. But it can sometimes be a hassle to flip a switch every time you enter and exit a room, especially if your hands are full or you are preoccupied with something else.
Motion-sensing light switches can resolve this issue by automatically turning on when you walk into a room and turning off when they sense you have left, creating a literally hands-free approach to energy savings. No more dropping grocery bags while slapping at a wall or stubbing your toe in the dark…though it may make quietly sneaking out to stargaze at 2:00 a.m. a bit more of a challenge.
Green Living Tips That Pay for Themselves
Whatever your needs or personal tastes, there are ways to save energy in your new or existing log and timber home. While you may not become rich from the savings alone, they can definitely help offset your overhead. And, maybe that will be enough incentive to take that self-guided tour of Tuscany you have been dreaming about (though we cannot recommend changing the thermostat from your phone while driving a rented Fiat).